Ballmer wins LA Clippers basketball team for $2 billion

The previous owner was forced to sell the team after allegations of racist remarks

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for a record US$2 billion, according to reports.

The professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California has been up for sale after the National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver banned owner Donald Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA for alleged racial comments.

Silver also announced in April that he will urge the NBA's Board of Governors to force a sale of the team.

Ballmer, who retired in February from Microsoft after 14 years, has been interested in owning an NBA franchise for a while. He beat other bidders that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh and a group that included David Geffen, Oprah Winfrey, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, USA Today reported.

The former Microsoft executive seems unlikely to move the L.A. Clippers to Seattle, Washington after acquiring the franchise. "If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles," Ballmer told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month. "Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive."

The NBA Board of Governors must still approve the sale, according to reports. There is some debate, however, whether Sterling has to sign off on the deal or has given his wife the authority to sell the team.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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