Microsoft is nearing a deal to buy Skype, an Internet phone company, for $8 billion, according to a Monday report by the Wall Street Journal.
The report in the Journal says a deal could be announced on Tuesday.
Microsoft did not have an immediate comment.
Skype is an online phone and video calling service for PCs and other Internet-connected devices. For many of its users, the service is replacing both landline and mobile phones because local and even international calls are cheap and free. Skype also makes an iPhone app for placing video calls.
Microsoft makes unified communication software called Lync, which is designed to replace traditional phone systems for businesses. The software handles phone calls, instant messaging, conference phone calls and video conferencing.
Skype says an average of 124 million people use the service monthly. The Luxembourg-based company was started in 2003 and is privately owned. Its investors include online auction site eBay.
Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal’s report.