eBay may acquire VoIP firm Skype

Friday, September 9, 2005

Online US-based auction company eBay is in talks to acquire Voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider Skype for US$5 billion. Many believe that eBay intends to enter the rapidly expanding VoIP market and give recent entrants, Google and Microsoft, a run for their money.

The speculation that eBay may buy the small Luxembourg-based company sent their shares down four percent on Wall Street.

Last month, Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, was in talks with Skype to possibly buy the company. The talks ended when Skype said the company was not for sale.

VoIP is becoming an increasingly significant threat to traditional telephone companies, since most calls between computers are free and some users wonder why a separate land line is still needed.

Skype was founded by the creators of the P2P file-sharing program KaZaA.