Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Wednesday, 18 May 2011 08:20 UK

Bill Gates strongly backed Microsoft deal to buy Skype

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates says he was a 'strong proponent' of the $8.5bn (£5.2bn) purchase of Skype, despite the internet phone service recording an annual loss.

The world's most influential philanthropist tells HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur that he believes the deal will pave the way for a "great deal of innovation" in areas such as corporate communication.

You can watch the full interview on BBC World News on Wednesday 18 May 2011 at 0330, 0830, 1530 and 2030 GMT and on BBC News Channel on 18 May at 0430 and 19 May at 0030 BST.

Find out who is coming up on the programme by following us on Twitter.

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