Report: Microsoft Close to Buying Skype for More Than $7 Billion

Microsoft Corp is nearing a deal to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies for more than $7 billion, and a deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to news report from the Wall Street Journal.

Buying Skype would give Microsoft a recognized brand name on the Internet at a time when it is struggling to get more traction in the consumer market, according to the report.

Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA has 830 employees, including 110 at its Palo Alto office, which they moved to from San Jose and Brisbane last year. Company officials said recently they plan to hire up to 400 more workers around the globe this year — about 80 percent of whom would work in their 90,000-square-foot Palo Alto office.

This would be one of the biggest acquisitions Microsoft has ever made.

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