Microsoft buys Skype for $US8.5b

Microsoft has purchased Skype for US$8.5 billion, with the intention of increasing its online presence to rival that of Google and Facebook.

Skype had reportedly also attracted interest from Cisco, Facebook and Google. Skype is Microsofts largest ever acquisition, eclipsing its $6.3 billion purchase of Quantive.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said on Tuesday,

“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,”

“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 has 170 million users worldwide.

You can read more about the acquisition at the nzherald

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