The New York Times is reporting
that eBay has struck a deal with private investors to sell its VoIP application, Skype. The investment group is speculated to include Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital startup spearheaded by Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen. Investment and equity firms Index Ventures and Silver Lake Partners are also said to be involved.
Little detail is known about the agreement, but in the past eBay has said it wants around $2 billion for Skype. The Internet auction giant paid $2.6 billion for the voice program in 2005, eventually writing down $900 million of its value after recognizing the lack of synergy with the company's core ecommerce and online payment businesses.
Skype's founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis were looking to reacquire
the program, but ultimately failed to meet eBay's price. Google, who was outbid by eBay in the 2005 sale, also expressed an interest in buying Skype but eventually walked away from a potential deal.