Skype will become a business unit of Microsoft Corp. after the board of directors of each company agreed on the terms of an $8.5 billion acquisition.
Microsoft said the move will accelerate the companies’ efforts to transform real-time communications for consumers and enterprise customers.
In the long term, Microsft will integrate Skype into many of its products “to broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way people communicate online”, the company said in a release. Microsoft said the two companies share a common goal of connecting all people across all devices.
“Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere.”
Skype CEO Tony Bates will become president of the Skype division, effectively immediately. ”Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily,” Bates said.