Rumor: Skype4Sale? Google A Buyer?

[qi:090] Skype, the P2P voice service that cost eBay billions of dollars, might be up for sale, according to The Guardian.

Currently in favour around London’s webbist community is the rumour that Google has been in negotiations to buy Skype, the web telephony firm, from eBay.

With most of the old Skype team — including co-founders Niklas and Janus — gone, these rumors are bound to surface. There are questions about how much more Skype can grow. In short, SkypeBay is in flux, and hence the rumors. I am checking with my sources and have emailed Skype PR as well to get more details. Stay tuned. (via)
Update: Skype spokesperson just got back in touch with what has to be the funniest denial email I have ever received. Good to see that Skype is getting a thick skin:

What would we do without rumors?! We’re sure that someone is using Skype right now to give new life to old ones and create new ones from scratch. We certainly understand it — after all, Skype is about making conversations possible. That said, we don’t comment on rumor on speculation (beyond what we’ve just said).

Update #2: Kevin points to a little known provision that might prevent any deal from happening till next year.

eBay agreed that if, on or prior to March 31, 2008, eBay sells or transfers securities representing greater than 50% of the outstanding voting power of, or economic interest in, Skype or all or substantially all of the assets of Skype and its subsidiaries, taken as a whole, eBay or Skype Lux would pay up to an additional ‚ā¨138,411,300, or approximately $195,159,900, in the aggregate to the Earn Out Sellers and the Earn Out Representative‚Ķ.