Microsoft is close to completing a deal to acquire Skype, beating out other suitors thought to include Google and Facebook.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was set to pay between $7 and $8 billion for the cross-platform voice and video chat service.
Skype has been a loss making business but has achieved a good deal of success in gaining traction not just on desktop computers but increasingly on mobile device also.
eBay bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005 only to sell 70 per cent of the firm to private investors four years later.
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