Microsoft completes $8.5B acquisition of Skype

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REDMOND — Internet video chat service Skype is now officially a part of Microsoft.

The two companies joined forces late Thursday when Microsoft Corp. completed its $8.5 billion purchase of Skype. The closing came five months after Microsoft announced the deal.

Microsoft is counting on Skype to help it catch up in some the hottest markets in technology and media. Those areas include online socializing, mobile phones and digital video.