Microsoft Snaps Up Skype for $8.5 Billion

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

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 (NASDAQ: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 (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).