So the rumors are true that Microsoft is buying Skype for an allegedly $8.5 billion big bucks. Microsoft published the official press release a few moments back.
eBay bought Skype back in 2005 for around $2.6 billion. Not having found any good use for it (was supposed to be integrated to the eBay), the auction site was ready to sell it off as early as 2008.
It was then bought in 2009 by an investment group (Silver Lake, eBay International AG, CPP Investment Board, Joltid Limited in partnership with Europlay Capital Advisors; and Andreessen Horowitz.)
The $8.5 billion agreement (to be paid all in cash) looks to be the biggest purchase Microsoft has ever made.
Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
The sale agreement is interesting considering that Microsoft also has it’s own VOIP service in the form of Microsoft Live. However, the 170 million strong user-base of Skype could be the biggest attraction to this agreement.
Microsoft will be creating a new business division called the Microsoft Skype Division, which will also be led by the current CEO of Skype.