Skype sold for $8.5 billion

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Microsoft has placed its biggest bet- $8.5 billion for the internet voice and video communications company, Skype- on a deal the software giant hopes will help it compete in a world shifting away from desktop computer.

Buying Skype gives Microsoft a potentially valuable communications tool as it tries to make a bigger splash on the Internet and become a bigger force in the increasingly important smart phone market. This deal, Microsofts most expensive acquisition- has snatched Skype out of the hands of other potential suitors, which reportedly includes Google and Facebook.

Skype, which is based in Luxembourg offers free voice and video communications over the Internet, a popular alternative to standard telephone calls, especially over long distances. Though the UAEs telecoms regulator has legalized international calls through the internet; but has a ban imposed on foreign companies, including Skype- providing Voice over IP (VoIP) in the country.

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