Microsoft confirms Skype deal
IT giant Microsoft has confirmed this afternoon that it has bought Skype, the popular internet telephone company co-founded by Swede Niklas Zennström and Dane Janus Friis.
The deal is costing Microsoft 8.5 billion US dollars. Skype currently has 663 million global users making it the world's largest telephone company for international phone calls.
Industry insiders believe Microsoft moved quickly to head off interest from Google and Facebook.
In a statement, Microfsoft said:
"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world.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."
The Scandinavian innovators who founded Skype in 2003, sold the company to internet auction house eBay for 2.6 billion dollars in 2005 but later bought back a fourteen percent share in the company. Risk capital company Silver Lake is the majority shareholder with eBay owning 30 percent.