Microsoft has bought Skype for $8.5 billion in cash, Anupreeta Das and Nick Wingfield of the WSJ report.
The deal was concluded late Monday evening.
It is one of the biggest acquisitions Microsoft has ever made.
The price tag is silly on a stand-alone basis, but the deal could make strategic sense for Microsoft: With the rise of Facebook and Gmail and Apple, the company has lost its dominance of online communications. Although Skype’s functionality is now a commodity (Microsoft has services that offer the same functionality), Skype’s user-base and “social network” are not. If Microsoft can successfully integrate Skype with Exchange and Microsoft’s other communications tools (including Windows Phone 7), it would give users more incentive to stick with its products.