eBay to Buy Skype in $2.6 Billion Deal (USA Today version)

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press Writer

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Online auctioneer eBay (EBAY) said Monday that it will acquire Internet communications company Skype Technologies for about $2.6 billion in cash and eBay stock. EBay CEO Meg Whitman, left, poses with Niklas Zennstrom of Skype. EBay owns PayPal.

The total value of the deal may climb to $4.1 billion based on whether Skype meets a series of performance targets over the next three years, eBay said. The additional payments of $1.5 billion would be made in

2008 or 2009.

Ebay said the acquisition of privately held Skype will create "an unparalleled e-commerce and communications engine" for Internet users worldwide.

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