As of November 2014, Skype is a division of Microsoft. As it is a publicly traded company, anyone who owns Microsoft stock owns a stake in Skype. The software giant purchased Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion amid rumors Facebook and Google were interested in making business deals with the popular video chat company. Before the sale to Microsoft, eBay owned Skype from 2005 to 2009.
In 2010, Skype brought in $860 million in revenue with a profit of $264 million before Microsoft purchased it. The chat company also had $686 million in long-term debt to pay off. In 2011, the purchase of Skype was Microsoft's largest acquisition in terms of dollar amount.
Skype allows users to send text, voice and video messages through an Internet connection. Skype has a subscription service or a pay-as-you-go option for more advanced chat features such as connecting to cellphones, attaching to Wi-Fi networks and sending texts to phones. A software update in October 2014 featured faster Skype chat load times for iPhone owners, image sharing among friends and greater synchronicity with iPhone products.
One publicity stunt using Skype technology involved a collaboration among nine New York subway musicians who played together thanks to the video chat and a single composer in November 2014. All 10 people were in different locations while they used the Wi-Fi connections at various subway stations to create a music video.