Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Tuesday officially announced in a company press release that they are acquiring Skype for $8.5 billion.
Now, that’s a lot of cash to put down on a company that, just last December left users in the dark before the holiday season, and put fear in investors who were looking towards an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Skype is expected to be integrated into Microsoft’s suite of products that are currently offered to customers, including the Xbox 360 and Kinect support as well as Windows Phone integration.
The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. 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.
Skype was first sold at $2.5b to eBay in 2005, who later sold most of it off to Silver Lake in 2009 at an overall value of $2.75b. It is now being sold to Microsoft for almost triple the amount that it was originally purchased for.
A brand new Microsoft Skype Division will be created in order to accommodate those making the switch over to Microsoft, and current Skype CEO, Tony Bates will be moving with his company to lead the new division. Check out the official Microsoft press release on the acquisition of Skype here.