Microsoft has now confirmed that it has agreed to buy Skype for $8.5 billion.
The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. Skype will now become a business division within Microsoft known as Microsoft Skype.
In a statement it says Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices. Microsoft will also connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO said: ‘ Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the wold.’
The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval, which Microsoft hopes it will obtain before the end of the year.
Microsoft to buy internet phone service Skype?
It is rumoured that Microsoft is near to closing a deal to buy the internet phone service Skype.
According to reports in The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is close to a deal to buy Skype for between $7 and $8 billion. However, it adds people close to the matter have cautioned that negotiations aren’t yet final, and a deal could still fall apart.
Last week there was speculation online that Facebook or Google could be interested in the company, but today’s reports suggest that Microsoft is the most likely party.
There has not yet been any official comment from Microsoft or Skype.
Skype allows users to make phone and video calls over an internet connection. It’s free to make calls to other users with the service, and calls to landlines and mobile often have cheap rates.
The company was founded in 2003 and its proved a very popular service. Skype says users made 95 billion minutes of voice and video calls in the first half of 2010, approximately 40% of which was video.
You can also access Skype on your smartphone or on some TVs but, in all cases, you’ll need a broadband internet connection to use the service.
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