Skype Mum on eBay Report of Buyout

Internet telephony company Skype Technologies SA declined to comment Thursday on a report that online auction company, eBay Inc. was in talks to buy the company.

The Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required) that eBay was in talks to buy Skype for US$2 billion-$3 billion, citing unnamed sources.

"Weire not commenting on rumors," Kat James, spokeswoman for Luxembourg-based Skype, told the Associated Press when asked about the report, neither confirming nor denying the report. An eBay spokesman also would not comment on the report for the WSJ.

"The talks are in a sensitive stage and could fall apart, according to one person briefed on the matter," the WSJ reported. The story also said Skype "has been in active discussions with other technology companies, and none has led to a deal."

According to the report the San Jose, Calif.-based eBay is interested in entering new businesses that could open up ways for the company to generate revenue, such as pay-per-call Internet telephony, in ways that it cannot in its current structure.