MIcrosoft's Skype Buyout Approved as Layoffs HitMicrosoft (news, site) has been given regulatory approval to buy Skype, clearing the way for the $8.5 million deal.

The FTC Says 'Yes!'

Microsoft has cleared the last hurdle in its attempt to buy Skype, gaining Federal Trade Commission approval for the deal. Theoretically, other agencies, such as the European Competition Commission, could throw a spanner in the works, but that's not likely now.

The deal will see Microsoft wielding great power in the mobile, VoIP and Unified Comms space and adds a natural feature for upcoming Windows Phone 7 releases and the future Windows 8 OS. Microsoft has already fired back at Apple's iCloud with SkyDrive and will soon be able to use Skype to offer voice and video chat.

Skype Execs Say 'No!'

Unfortunately, in a final tidy-up before the deal, Skype has cleaned house in the executive wing, cutting loose eight or more execs to lessen the amount of compensation they would earn if they hung on until the takeover is signed and concluded.

Some of the people affected came from Skype's own acquisitions, but others, including vice presidents David Gurle, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw and Don Albert, might be feeling rather aggrieved right about now.

[UPDATE] - The Skype exectives made redundant are getting their bonuses/vested shares, it is those who quit the firm before the deal was signed who are losing what they believed were cast-iron bonuses. There's quite a rumpus going you can follow here, with various sides putting forward their cases.

The latest Skype improves Facebook integration
The latest Skype improves Facebook integration

In a show of business-as-usual, Skype has just signed a deal to integrate better with Facebook, making it easier to connect with your friends and family. The latest beta includes instant messaging for friends and you can also like and comment on posts from within Skype.