The European wunderkinds who gave the world Skype have been approaching private equity firms in an attempt to buy their creation back from eBay, the New York Times reports. Niklas Zennstrom of Sweden and Janus Friis of Denmark sold the Internet phone service for $2.6 billion in 2005, but analysts think they could buy it back for about $1.7 billion.
Since its sale, Skype’s user base has exploded from 53 million to 405 million, and it’s grown to account for 8% of all international calling minutes. But it's not the greatest fit for eBay’s bread-and-butter e-commerce offerings. The sale would also clear up an intellectual property dispute between the duo and eBay which has their company, Joltid, withholding its peer-to-peer tech—technology key to making Skype work.