A deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, though they cautioned that negotiations aren't yet final and a deal could still fall apart. Including Skype's long-term debt, the total value of the deal is about $8.5 billion. Buying Skype - a service that connects millions of users around the world via Internet-based telephony and video - would give Microsoft a recognized brand name on the Internet at a time when it is struggling to get more traction in the consumer market. Microsoft has invested heavily in marketing and improving the technology of its Bing search engine. While it has made some market share gains over the past year, Google Inc. still dominates the search market with more than 65% of U.S. searches going through its site. Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal (free content)