Remember last week when we told you that both Facebook and Google were fishing with big-money lures in an attempt to catch voice and video chat service Skype? Well forget that; it seems Microsoft are now the front runners to buy the VoIP company.
Despite already having a tie-in with Facebook and engaging in joint venture talks with Google, it seems Skype have been tempted by a massive $8.5 billion deal with Microsoft.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, Skype's financial advisory team, seem to be doing a great job; set to be floated publicly this year, Skype was expected to have an estimated value of around $1 billion.
Either Microsoft are feeling particularly flushed with cash, or Skype drive an awfully hard bargain then.
UPDATE [10th May 13.24 GMT]
We've just got official confirmation that Microsoft have indeed nabbed Skype. Here's the release, with a press conference to follow shortly:
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates will hold a press conference on May 10, 2011, to announce that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft Corp. will acquire Skype S.A., a leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion from the investor group led by Silver Lake.
The acquisition will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities. The combination will extend Skype's world-class brand and the reach of its networked platform, while enhancing Microsoft's existing portfolio of real-time communications products and services.
More details to follow folks!