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Microsoft close to $8,5bn Skype buy-out

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Microsoft is said to be about to conclude negotiations to buy Skype for $8,5-billion.

A report in the New York Times says the deal is expected to be announced today and will include the Internet telephony company along with an assumption of its debt.
Skype has more than 600-million registered users.
Sources say Microsoft would leverage the Skype technology and user base in its gaming, search and personal.