Microsoft may pay more than $1 billion, and a deal may be reached as soon as tomorrow, said one person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.
Adding Yammer would help Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, add social-networking tools to the suite of products it offers corporate customers. A deal with Yammer also would step up competition with Salesforce.com Inc., which gained social-marketing tools through its $745 million purchase of Buddy Media Inc. earlier this month, and Oracle Corp., which recently bought two companies that analyze data on social-media sites — Vitrue Inc. and Collective Intellect Inc.
Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment on a potential deal. Deanna McPherson, a spokeswoman for closely held Yammer, also declined to comment.
Yammer, started in 2008, is used by more than 200,000 companies, including Ford Motor Co. and EBay Inc. It provides features for internal corporate use that are similar to those found on Facebook Inc.’s website.
The San Francisco startup was founded by David Sacks, the former chief operating officer at PayPal Inc. It has raised more than $140 million in funding from venture firms, including Charles River Ventures Inc. and Emergence Capital Partners.
The blog Business Insider reported earlier that Microsoft may be in talks to buy Yammer.