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Skype will soon offer users the ability to transfer money using PayPal.

Both companies are owned by eBay, so integrating the two isn't the biggest surprise. eBay paid $1.5bn for PayPal in 2002 and bought Skype for $2.6bn in 2005.

Skype chief executive Niklas Zennstrom told Reuters: "You can send money over Skype. This is basically connecting the Skype community over PayPal. All the user needs is a PayPal account".

A spokesman for the company said the service would likely launch within a month.

In other news, PayPal said it has nearly 35 million accounts in Europe. In 2006 the company transferred $8.4bn in European transactions. PayPal has offices in 15 European countries.

Forrester Research reckons 23 per cent of European internet shoppers prefer paying by PayPal. ®

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