Microsoft dials in Skype for a cool $8.5 billion

Reports suggest that Microsoft have done a deal to acquire Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion.

Last week Pocket-lint told you how Facebook was considering a Skype "tie-up" and that Mark Zuckerberg "has been involved in internal discussions about buying Skype".

Reports also suggest that good Google was also possibly interested in snapping up Skype, and had even held talks with the Luxembourg based company with regards to a joint-venture.

But now it seems that Microsoft has beaten the two web giants to the punch, with the Redmond based company releasing a statement saying:

"Microsoft Corp. and Skype Global today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype.

"The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype’s world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft’s existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services."

Microsoft will be using Skype technology across its range of devices including Xbox and Kinect, as well as Windows Phone 7.

"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "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 world."

Skype was due to be floated publicly this year, with Mashable predicting that its listing would raise around $1 billion for the company.

That makes $8.5 billion sounds pretty darn expensive then.



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