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LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 05:  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stands next to a display of prototype computers as he delivers a keynote address at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Hilton January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 05: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stands next to a display of prototype computers as he delivers a keynote address at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Hilton January 5, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology tradeshow, runs from January 6-9 and is expected to feature 2,700 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 126,000 attendees. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  

Microsoft agrees to buy Skype for $8.5 billion to add Web calls

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Paul Conner (admin)
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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) agreed to buy Skype Technologies SA for $8.5 billion in cash to gain the world’s most popular Internet calling service and its 663 million customers.

Microsoft will acquire Luxembourg-based Skype from an investor group led by Silver Lake, the companies said in a statement today. The agreement was approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

The takeover may help Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer attract Web users and narrow Google Inc. (GOOG)’s lead in Internet advertising.

Full story: Microsoft Agrees to Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion to Add Web Calls – Bloomberg