eBay To Buy Skype For $2.6 Billion: FT

DEVELOPING: So the rumors weren’t that unfounded: according to FT, Ebay is in the final stages late yesterday of sealing an agreement to buy Skype, the fast-growing provider of voice calls over the internet, for more than $2.6 billion. The deal could cost as much as $4.1 billion, if Skype hits certain performance targets between now and 2008. The potential deal echoes Ebay’s $1.5bn purchase of PayPal…
The rationale: By integrating Skype with its own software to bring voice calls to its online market, Ebay would be able to ease communications and increase the level of trust between its buyers and sellers.
The other implication: Murdoch just saved a bunch of money on his insurance..
BW: eBay has called for an “investor conference call” at 5 a.m. Pacific time, on an announcement to be made two hours earlier.