Just days after reports that Google and Facebook were interested in partnering with, and possibly buying VoIP company Skype, Microsoft announced that it was buying the company for $8.56 billion in cash. Microsoft announced an $8.5 billion acquisition of the Internet telephone service Skype Technologies SA from eBay and a group of private equity investors including Silicon Valley heavyweights Silver Lake Partners. The deal is Microsoft's largest cash purchase in its 36-year long history.
"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," according to Microsoft's press release on the deal. "With 170 million connected users and over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010, Skype has been a pioneer in creating rich, meaningful connections among friends, families and business colleagues globally." - Yahoo Finance
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