The rumor was true, Microsoft has purchased Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. The Wall Street Journal says the deal will allow the company to integrate Skype into everything from its Bing search engine to Windows smartphones and its Xbox 360 video game system.
“Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said. “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 was first acquired by eBay in 2005 for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, ostensibly to allow bidders and sellers to talk to one another. The fact that nobody wants to talk to anyone on eBay became increasingly apparent until the company sold a 70% share of Skype “to a group of technology investors including Silver Lake Partners, venture capital firms Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, who will make a handsome return on the Microsoft transaction,” says the WSJ.