Microsoft could close Skype acquisition by October

Microsoft's massive $8.5 billion purchase of the popular Skype Internet phone service is still a few months away, according to statements from a Skype executive. The AFP news service (via Google) quotes the company' chief executive Tony Bates as saying, "We already got through the US side of it. We still have Europe so it's anyone's guess, but I would say we've got a couple of months more here. Maybe sort of an October timeframe would be my guess."

Microsoft announced the purchase of Skype back in May in a move that showed that the company wasn't afraid to make big financial moves. In June the Federal Trade Commission allowed the deal to move forward with the FTC seeing no anti-trust issues. However Skype has continued to work on other project while the Microsoft deal awaits the final approval. That includes a recent deal with Facebook to provide video chat features to the popular social networking service.

This week Bates said that even when the acquisition becomes final the Skype branding will be sticking around. He states, "It is a verb. People talk about it in that way. They say Skype me. So, you can expect no change. You can expect strong commitment to the brand." He also hinted at a possible future venture for Skype, saying, "The one I will just tease for everyone to think about is, we actually think there is a big play in in-call advertising. Watch this space. We think this is going to be a very exciting area for us."

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