Tuesday morning's headlines

May 10, 2011

Partly Sunny and 63 today.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Microsoft Agrees to Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion
  • Fatal Crash on I-5 at Arlington
  • Mariners Cut Temperamental Outfielder Milton Bradley

 

Microsoft Will Buy Skype in its Biggest Deal Ever

Microsoft has agreed to buy the popular Internet telephone service Skype for $8.5 billion in the biggest deal in the software maker's 36-year history.

Buying Skype would give Microsoft a potentially valuable communications tool as it tries to make a bigger splash on the Internet and become a bigger force in the increasingly important smartphone market.

The sellers include eBay and private equity firms Silver Lake and Andreessen Horowitz.

Skype boasts about 663 million users worldwide. According to regulatory documents, Skype users made 207 billion minutes of voice and video calls last year.

In a press release today, Microsoft said that Skype will support devices like the Xbox, Kinect, Windows Phone and others Windows devices. The company also added that it will continue to "invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms."

Techflash.org reports that  Microsoft will add Skype as a new business division, with Skype CEO Tony Bates acting as president.

“Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers,” said Tony Bates. “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate,” said Bates.

Most people use Skype's free calling services, which has made it difficult for the service to make money since entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis started the company in 2003.

 

Fatal Crash Blocks I-5 Near Arlington for Hours

The Washington State Patrol says a crash involving a car and a semi-truck has killed one person and critically injured another on Interstate 5 at Arlington.

KING-TV reports the accident investigation is blocking some southbound lanes Tuesday morning.

The State Patrol was estimating it would be at least 9 a.m. before traffic returns to normal.

 

Mariners Cut Outfielder Milton Bradley and Ryan Langerhans

The Seattle Mariners have cut slumping outfielder Milton Bradley and his $12 million salary.

The Mariners designated the often-troubled outfielder for assignment on Monday. The 33-year-old Bradley was hitting .218 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 28 games.

“We felt Milton was not part of our future and not part of our present,”  Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik said in a conference call. “Therefore, the move was made.”

Seattle also cut utility player Ryan Langerhans.

 Outfielders Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson will move up to the Mariners from Triple-a Tacoma.