Online telephony service Skype will be sold by eBay to a group of private investors, possibly including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen's new venture capital group, and the deal will be announced on Tuesday according to a report by a team of reporters from the New York Times.
EBay faces legal challenges from Skype's founders that the company said earlier this summer could mean the end of Skype as we know it. From an innovation perspective, we're always excited when such an interesting company breaks free from a slow-moving monolith that acquired it.
Skype's founders were rumored to be interested in buying the company back themselves, but the Times reports that they were unable to raise enough money to satisfy eBay.
If the Times report is accurate it will be very interesting to see who runs the new Skype and what kinds of changes are made to the service. With $600 million in reported annual revenue and nearly twice as many users as Facebook, Skype's international network of P2P software installs powering multimedia communication, file-sharing, chat and status still has boundless potential to do interesting things.