Microsoft Completes Acquisition of Skype

Today, Microsoft finally closed the deal on its purchase of voice-over IP company Skype for $8.5 billion.

The deal was first announced in May of this year, but Microsoft's move had to be approved in several different markets beforehand.

One of the last primary regulatory markets to approve Microsoft's latest move was Europe. The European Union is the group that gave the nod to Microsoft and its deal.

Four other markets have yet to say yes to the company's deal, however.

"The acquisition remains under review in a few countries, and will be completed in those countries when such reviews are closed," Microsoft said in a press release.

The four markets who haven't approved the company's purchase yet are Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and Taiwan.

Microsoft will be integrating Skype into its current work structure. Microsoft plans to keep Skype’s current corporate structure intact, with offices to remain in countries like Estonia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed his excitement over Microsoft's latest acquisition: "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."

Skype was first founded in 2003. eBay acquired it in 2005, then an investor group led by Silver Lake Partners bought it in 2009.

In July, Skype brought in 65 million active daily users. Though the company hasn't detailed much of its plans, it's expected that the company will be incorporated into 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 will still hold his position at the top of the Internet telephone platform. He will now work for Microsoft as president of the Skype division.

"Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's goal to reach 1 billion users daily," Bates said.