Microsoft’s 2011 fiscal year, which ended in June, was one of its lightest on record for acquisitions. The company, which has more than $50 billion in cash and short-term investments, spent just $75 million to acquire three entities during the year.
Maybe it was saving up for Skype? The numbers don’t include Microsoft’s proposed $8.5 billion acquisition of the online communications company, which is still in process and hasn’t yet closed.
The acquisition figure is one of the more interesting nuggets from the company’s annual Form 10-K filing, made pubic by the Securities & Exchange Commission this afternoon. It doesn’t identify the three entities for which Microsoft paid the total of $75 million, but it confirms that the company had been largely sitting on the sidelines prior to announcing the Skype deal.
By comparison, Microsoft spent $267 million on acquisitions in fiscal 2010, and $925 million the year before that. The big year for the company was 2008, when it closed its $6 billion deal to buy aQuantive and paid more than $8 billion total in a variety of deals.
(Note: Figure for 2010 corrected since original post.)