With antitrust regulators in the United States and European Union (EU) both giving their OK to Microsoft's purchase of Skype, the software giant today announced that it has closed its acquisition of the Internet communications firm. Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion, its biggest ever acquisition, and will now move to integrate the company's software into its own solutions for both consumers and businesses.
"Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "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."
The Skype purchase comes almost exactly five months after Microsoft announced its intention to purchase the firm. Skype now becomes a dedicated product division within Microsoft, alongside such long-term divisions as Windows and Entertainment & Devices, and Skype CEO Tony Bates becomes the president of that division.
According to Microsoft, it will continue to offer the dedicated Skype software via all the currently supported platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS/iPhone, Android, and others. But the software giant also has big if undisclosed plans to thoroughly integrate Skype communication technologies "across an array of Microsoft products."
Microsoft also released a nifty infographic that describes the reach of Skype and how people are using the service to communicate around the globe: