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eBay sells stake in Skype

eBay sells 65% stake in VoIP service Skype to private investor group for $1.9 billion

Skype is believed to have been sold for $2 billion.
Skype is believed to have been sold for $2 billion.

Updated: eBay has sold a 65% stake in VoIP service Skype.

The online auction site sold the stake to a consortium of private investors for $1.9 billion, but retained a 35% share. The deal would value Skype at $2.75 billion.

eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion, with the intention of allowing buyers and sellers to use the VoIP service to discuss auction bids. The service had not realized the sort of synergies that eBay was looking for however, and the company has since expressed its desire to sell or float Skype.

Skype will be bought by a group of private investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital company formed by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen.

The Skype service has around 405 million registered users, mainly for computer-to-computer calls over IP, which are available at a much reduced cost from normal telephone charges.