Exclusive analysis of social media by Meltwater Buzz demonstrates how Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype has already started to attract concerns in the online world. The results show a mixed opinion of the move by Microsoft, with sentiment tailing off after the deal was initially met with positive reactions.

In particular, sentiment drops dramatically as on netizens begin to question the official figure that Microsoft spent on the acquisition. The $8.5 million price tag is seen by some as a tax dodge, which will result in the US taxpayer picking up half of the bill.

Concerns are also raised about Skype’s substantial debts, and the number of times it has changed hands. In 2005 Skype was bought by eBay for $2.6bn, but by 2009 eBay had sold 70 percent of the company to private equity and venture investors in a transaction that valued the company at just $2.75bn. Microsoft’s decision to triple that valuation less than two years later has already triggered off concerns of a new technology bubble.

The analysis also shows other significant spikes around how Skype’s future within Microsoft and its eventual role, as Bill Gates stands by the decision to acquire the business.