Microsoft announced yesterday that they have finalized the acquisition of Skype which was initially announced back in May of this year. The 8.5 billion dollar purchase of the Internet communications company had to clear a couple of hurdles in the US and Europe to finalize the process.
“Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere.”
Now that the purchase is final Skype will be fully integrated into Microsoft business and Tony Bates, the Skype CEO, will become the President for the Microsoft Skype Division.
The Skype division will continue to offer its current products to millions of users globally. Longer term, Skype will also be integrated across an array of Microsoft products to broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way people communicate online. Skype employees will continue to be located around the world in offices including Estonia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States.
“By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways,” Bates said. “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily,” Bates said.
So what is Microsoft getting in this deal? Quite frankly a whole lot of ears and eyeballs. Take a look at this infographic from Skype that was put together based on July 2011 numbers and see the scope of what Skype is bringing to Microsoft.
I am looking forward to seeing how Skype gets integrated with the various Microsoft software programs as well – should be interesting to see this over the next several months.