eBay May Sell Skype Back to Founders

If you don't know what to do with it, time to return it to a duo who do...

The eBay Skype purchase never made the greatest deal of sense. $2.6bn for the 2005 deal ($3.1bn ultimately) was hugely overpriced and it took eBay nearly a year just to figure out how to integrate it into eBay. Three years later and have you ”ever” used Skype during an eBay transaction?!

Consequently, news of a sale isn’t really surprising – what is are the buyers: Joost creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. The dynamic Scandinavian duo founded Skype and first launched the service way back in August 2003.

A potential $2bn asking price has been mooted with $1bn coming from private investors with eBay itself potentially financing an additional $1bn via a seller’s note to sever ties from the unwanted business. Personally I’d be surprised if the deal tops $1.5-1.75bn in the current climate despite the Skype user base having increased from 53m to 403m during the intervening period.

Unsurprisingly neither party has been prepared to comment on the rumour which generally serves to only strengthen water cooler talk. Don’t be shocked to see something official harden up on this over the next few months – willing seller/loving creators tends to lead to smooth deals and it was a very silly deal to begin with…

via The NYT

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