eBay to sell Skype – but at a lower price tag than original US$3.1bn

1 Sep 2009

Online auction site eBay is about to sell Skype, the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service it bought in September 2005 for US$2.6bn.

Skype will be sold to a group of private investors according to people close to the deal, reports the New York Times.

The same paper goes on to day that the group of investors will probably include Andreessen Horowitz, the new venture capital firm that Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen is involved with.

While no selling price has been mentioned it is thought that eBay is looking for an asking price of US$2bn for the internet telephony service even though the initial deal back in 2005 eventually cost it US$3.1bn in total including the payouts givien to Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.

It is expected that the deal will be officially announced tomorrow but there is no further news on the licensing dispute between Skype and its technology partner Joltid.

Back in March 2009 Skype filed a claim in the English High Court of Justice against Joltid, which was followed by Joltid terminating the agreement between the parties.

However this is technology essential to Skype’s functioning and it was believed that eBay was working on a replacement platform in the meantime.

By Marie Boran

Pictured above: Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis