It has been confirmed that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion in cash from major shareholder Silver Lake. The Microsoft and Skype board of directors has approved of the deal. As of the end of 2010, Skype had 170 million users and accounted for 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations.
Skype will be integrated into Xbox, Kinect, and Windows Phone devices in the near future. Microsoft will also connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, and Xbox Live.
?Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,? stated 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 be rolled into its own business division within Microsoft. Skype CEO Tony Bates will become President of the Microsoft Skype division and will report directly to Ballmer.
[Microsoft Press Release]