EBay to Unload Skype for $2B

Private investors bring end to auction site's troubled ownership
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 5:38 AM CDT
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom announcing their deal in 2005. After four years and substantial losses, eBay is selling the company to private investors.   (AP Photos / Sergio Dionisio, eBay)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – EBay is selling Skype, the audiovisual chat service it calamitously bought in 2005, to a group of private investors, sources tell the New York Times. Although the price is unknown, eBay recently said it wanted about $2 billion for the the company, which is expected to pull in $600 million in revenues this year. The auction site paid more than $3.1 billion for Skype, outbidding Google and Yahoo, in what many now view as a disastrous purchase.

EBay had to write down $900 million of Skype's value after the takeover as difficulties of integrating the company into its main business became clear. While eBay had talked of a Skype IPO in 2010, it also spoke to several companies and investors—including Google, which backed away, and Skype's original founders, who failed to meet eBay's price. The purchasers of Skype are thought to include Andreessen Horowitz, a new venture capital firm led by the founder of Netscape.