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Microsoft set to acquire Skype for £5.2 billion

Microsoft is set to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion (£5.2 billion) from the investor group led by Silver Lake who purchased it from eBay in November 2009. A Microsoft press release states:

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.

The move will bring native Skype integration into Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox, but Microsoft state they will continue to develop and support Skype for other mobile platforms too. Skype has become the standard for mobile VOIP and there is some concern about what impact this deal may have on Skype’s future.

The purchase is still subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions but Microsoft aim to have it completed this year.

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