Microsoft Snaps Up Skype for $8.5 Billion

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Microsoft (MSFT) revealed plans to acquire Internet telephone company Skype for $8.5 billion in cash, the largest deal in the technology company's history. 

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The company plans on rolling Skype's communication technology into many of its pre-existing platforms, such as its gaming system Xbox and its Windows mobile phones, the company said in a release. 

"The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities," the release said. 

Skype was acquired by Ebay (EBAY) in 2005 and then purchased by an investment group led by Silver Lake in 2009.

Microsoft has been making a major push into the Web market as its seen its foothold in many business areas eroded by competitors like Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG).