Skype plans to buy group message system GroupMe

NEW YORK (AP) ? Skype is expanding before it gets absorbed by Microsoft Corp.

Skype said Monday that it plans to buy GroupMe, which provides group text messaging and calling. Privately held Skype did not say how much it will pay.

Luxembourg-based Skype was founded in 2003, essentially as a way to make phone calls via the Internet. It is now looking to reach people on multiple platforms, and it recently introduced group video and bought a mobile video provider called Qik. GroupMe was founded last year at a gathering called the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon.

Skype is itself being bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. The deal was announced in May and the companies hope to close by the end of this year.