Microsoft Corp. announced Tuesday morning that it plans to purchase Internet phone company Skype for $8.5 billion. The deal would be the biggest acquisition in Microsoft’s 36-year history.
Microsoft hopes that purchasing Skype—a company that allows free video-chatting over the Internet, and calls from a computer to a phone for a fee—would help the company, which makes most of its money on software, more of a player on the Internet.
The purchase will benefit consumer and enterprise users, Microsoft said in a statement.
"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," the software giant said. Skype has 170 million "connected users," Microsoft said.
Both companies hope to clear regulatory hurdles and finish the deal by the end of the year.
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