Microsoft has closed the deal to purchase voice-over IP company Skype for a dazzling $8.5 billion.
The deal was first announced in May, and though it required regulatory approval from various government entities, there weren’t a lot of people who saw that as a major roadblock.
Last week, the European Union gave a nod to the deal, allowing the two companies to officially close the sale and move forward as one unit.
“Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world. 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,” proclaimed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement.
Skype has about 65 million active daily users, a huge pool of people for Microsoft to tap into. Though the company hasn’t said much about its plans, it’s expected that Skype will creep into virtually all of Microsoft’s services, from gaming on the Xbox 360 to corporate and non-profit sectors for professional uses of the technology.
Skype CEO Tony Bates remains at the top of the Internet telephony platform, and will now work for Microsoft as president of the Skype division.
Bates loftily declared, “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily.”