Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion in Cash

Today, Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Internet phone service Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The acquisition presents the most aggressive move yet by Microsoft to play in the increasingly converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment.

The money-losing but popular service Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft. Skype allows people to make calls at no charge but has also developed premium services.

The acquisition would give Microsoft a foothold in the potentially lucrative video-conferencing market as businesses shift to lower-cost ways of communicating. Each month, an average of 145 million people use Skype. The service has become popular among small business users.

The Skype deal ranks as the biggest acquisition in the 36-year history of Microsoft.

To read more about the acquisition, please click here.

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