eBay seals $1.9 billion Skype sale to former Netscape founder, partners


EBay (EBAY), the giant online auctioneer, announced a deal Tuesday morning to sell its Internet phone service Skype to a group of private investors, including Marc Andreessen, the billionaire co-founder of Netscape.

In a statement, eBay said it will receive $1.9 billion in cash for Skype -- which is expected to earn revenue of $600 million this year -- and retain a 35 percent equity investment in Skype. EBay said the deal values the company at $2.75 billion, and expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter of this year.

EBay's 2005 acquisition of Skype has come to be seen as one of the worst high tech deals in recent history. The giant auctioneer was never able to integrate Skype, an Internet phone service, into its business plan and was ultimately forced to write down the value of Skype by $900 million.

Originally published