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Skype scraps domestic call charges for US punters

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US and Canadian customers of Voice over Internet Protocol phone company Skype can now make free calls to landlines and mobile phones within the two countries. Such calls previously cost 2 cents a minute.

The promotion runs until the end of the year and has been taken as evidence that Skype is struggling to hit targets for new customers. Calls between Skype customers are already free, apart from internet connection charges.

The company said the move to free calls was to accelerate take-up in North America. Charges in other regions are not affected. The company hopes to sell extras like business services and ringtones to customers.

The company was bought by auction giant eBay last September for $2.6bn. Skype has various targets to meet to ensure bonus payments of a further $1.5bn. Many observers have struggled to see the relevance of the link-up.

Skype is facing increasing competition in the VoIP market from rivals like Yahoo! and Google.

Read the whole Skype press release here.®

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