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Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5B

Microsoft Corp. said May 10 that it has agreed to acquire Internet communications platform Skype from investor group Silver Lake for $8.5 billion in cash.

Skype will operate as a new business division within Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said in a statement. Skype CEO Tony Bates will take on the role of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft will use Skype’s technology to support its Xbox, Kinect, Windows Phone and other devices, and the company will also connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other Microsoft communities, it said in a statement.

An investment group led by Silver Lake bought Skype in November 2009 from eBay, which acquired the company in September 2005. Luxembourg-based Skype was founded in 2003.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, which the companies expect to be complete by the end of this year.

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