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Will Ebay Make Winning Bid in Skype Auction?

It is well known that peer-to-peer VoIP pioneer Skype is on the auction block. Investment bankers have been shopping Skype around to players such as Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google with a reported price tag of $3 billion. Hedging its bets, Skype is also working with Morgan Stanley on a possible initial public offering. Or, the bankers could always just start a Skype auction on Ebay. For sale: Luxemborg-based VoIP provider with 53 million registered users and 2 million paying subscribers. Starting bid: $2 billion. According to press reports this week, Ebay itself may be bidding on Skype. It would be an interesting combination. Rather than extending Ebay's reach into the competitive communications business per se, it seems more likely that a Skype deal would be intended to enhance the Internet auctioneer's role as an online middle man. Not only would Ebay provide auction infrastructure and payment processing services (via PayPal), but facilitate low to no-cost voice communications between buyers and sellers.
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