Has taken over Microsoft Skype

Microsoft confirms takeover of Skype

The software group Microsoft has officially confirmed the takeover of the VoIP provider Skype. A press release said Microsoft is paying $ 8.5 billion to a group around investment firm Silver Lake. The agreement has already been approved by the boards of Microsoft and Skype. Several US media had previously reported a deal on this scale.

The services of both companies are to be brought together closely: Skype is to support Microsoft devices such as Xbox and Kinect as well as the Windows Phone operating system, Microsoft announced. Skype users should also be linked to networks such as Xbox Live and the company's unified messaging via Lync and Outlook. Skype should continue to run on platforms that do not come from Microsoft, the company assured.

[Update: This was also confirmed by Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer on Tuesday when the takeover was announced in Redmond. "We see enormous opportunities," said the CEO, who said he had approached Skype at the beginning of April and made his takeover offer. The price was then agreed in mid-April. The contract was then signed on Monday evening. Microsoft now wants to further develop the Skype brand for consumers and business customers.]

Skype is to form a new business area within the Microsoft group. The previous Skype CEO Tony Bates will be president of the "Microsoft Skype Division" and report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. He said the VoIP service is loved by millions of people. Together with Skype, Microsoft will contest the future of real-time communication in which all people can easily connect.

The company Skype, founded in 2003, was taken over by the internet auction house eBay in 2005. The investment group around Silver Lake bought the majority of Skype in 2009 and had initially considered taking the VoIP provider to the stock exchange. (anw)

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