Niklas Zennstrom

New owners plan to supercharge Skype

September 1, 2009: 4:34 PM ET

All you 480 million Skype users out there should be rejoicing today, now that the Internet calling and video service has been freed from the clutches of eBay.

As was announced this morning, eBay is selling a 65% stake in Skype for $1.9 billion in cash to a group of private equity shops and venture capitalists. The deal also includes a loan from eBay of $125 million.

So let's call it $2 billion. That's about what eBay CEO John Donahoe said he thought Skype was worth when he announced in April that he was looking to take Skype public. Both the intention to spin Skype out (or sell it), and the price tag were points of data that investors have had months to digest. That is why eBay investors reacted fairly calmly today. This wasn't a surprise  - good or bad - and the market reflected it. Shares of eBay (EBAY) were down about 2% on the news.


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