Microsoft just issued a press-release announcing that they buy Skype for $8.5 billion.
The news about Microsoft buying Skype surfaces already yesterday. Now it is official. Microsoft buys Skype 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.
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“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 will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Ballmer. Microsoft says that Skype 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 hold a press-conference at 8am PDT today to discuss the Skype acquisition. It is quite cool to put down $8.5 billion in cold hard cash. I really wonder how Microsoft will earn that money back with Skype.
Skype has 170 million users today and was founded back in 2003. Skype is communications software whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they're apart.