By Michael D. McCurleyThe Washington PostDigital news and technology company Microsoft has filed for bankruptcy protection, a company spokesman confirmed on Thursday.
Microsoft is one of a handful of U.S. tech companies to file for bankruptcy.
Its fate will be decided by the bankruptcy court at the end of the week.
The company is being represented by law firm Gibson Dunn.
The bankruptcy filing comes as Microsoft is battling to remain afloat and compete against Apple and Amazon.
Microsoft, founded in 1983 by Bill Gates, has struggled to find revenue, generate revenue from hardware sales, attract developers and maintain a steady user base.
Microsoft said in a filing in July that it was spending more than $1 billion to maintain operations.
Microsoft reported a net loss of $17.7 billion for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.
The fourth-quarter loss was $4.9 billion below Wall Street estimates.
Microsoft shares closed down 3.5% to $56.96 in premarket trading on Thursday, the most for the year.
Microsoft also reported net income of $9.5 billion for fiscal 2016, which ended Dec 10.
That beat Wall Street expectations by $3.1 billion.
Microsoft’s business unit generated $24.2 billion in revenue in the fourth-year of fiscal 2016.
The unit generated about $19 billion of that revenue from software and services, according to the company.
Microsoft said that its operating profit rose 2.7% in the quarter, compared to a 4.5-percent rise in the year-ago period.
Microsoft will continue to have debt of about $21 billion, or about 4% of its revenue, but the company said it expects to continue refinancing debt.
Microsoft was not able to provide specific details on the restructuring plans, including which companies it will seek to acquire.
The filing could lead to other companies being targeted for acquisition.
Microsoft is one such company.
Apple and Google have been working to purchase the technology giant.
Microsoft, which has about 9 million employees, has been struggling to compete with Apple and other tech companies.
Its sales have slumped in recent years and its stock has fallen more than 50% in value since the end, after falling nearly 40% in 2017.
Microsoft has been forced to cut costs as it seeks to grow its revenue.
The financial company is on track to make $1.7 trillion in revenue for fiscal 2020, according the company’s most recent financial filing.