Microsoft Buys Skype

Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion

Microsoft has announced it will buy Internet-telephone service Skype for US$8.5 billion in cash, the largest acquisition in the history of the American computing giant.

The deal gives Microsoft access to the real-time video and voice communications market. Skype’s popular services run on PCs and on other computers as well, such as Mac and Linux, and mobile phones like the iPhone and Android-based devices.

“In 2010, Skype had 170 million connected users who logged over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010,” CNN reports. “The company reported a $6.9 million net loss in 2010, on nearly $860 million in revenue. It reported $686 million in long-term debt, and slightly more than $1 billion in liabilities.”

Skype, which already offers attractive video-and-voice conferencing services for small businesses, will become a new business unit within Microsoft.

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