Skype sold to Ebay for $4 billion

American web-auction company Ebay has bought internet phone company Skype in a deal worth up to $4.1 billion (around 31 billion kronor).

Ebay has paid $1.3 billion in cash and the same amount in shares. In addition, Ebay will pay an additional purchase sum of $1.5 billion, if certain financial goals are met.

Swede Niklas Zennström is one of Skype’s founders and is currently CEO of the company. His co-founder Janus Friis is Danish, and the company has its headquarters in Luxembourg.

Many in the telecoms industry believe that Skype – a so-called peer-to-peer internet telephony network – could revolutionize the way people make calls. Skype software allows people to call other Skype users for free over an internet connection. Users can also call people on the normal telephone network for a fee.

Zennström and Friis also established Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file sharing network, which they sold in 2001.

TT-Reuters/The Local