Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is acquiring Skype.
Microsoft Corp. is close to a deal to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies SA for between $7 billion and $8 billion—the most aggressive move yet by Microsoft to play in the increasingly-converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment.
A deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, though they cautioned that negotiations aren’t yet final and a deal could still fall apart. Including Skype’s long-term debt, the total value of the deal is about $8.5 billion.
Skype (pronounced /?ska?p/) is a software application that allows users to make voice calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messaging, file transfer, and video conferencing. Skype has 663 million registered users as of 2010. The network is operated by Skype Limited, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg and is minority owned by eBay. Most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of Skype are situated in Tallinn, Estonia. (wikipedia)