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eBay looks to flog useless stuff

Its, not yours

eBay has sold web bookmarking site StumbleUpon back to its founders, and could do the same with Skype, according to reports.

The online tat bazaar swallowed StumbleUpon for $75m in 2007 in an apparently aimless fit of web 2.0 envy.

It's now back in the hand of founders Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith, backed by venture capital. The details of the deal, done on Monday, haven't been revealed (hint: <$75m).

eBay is likely to take a much more severe haircut if it manages to offload Skype. Bosses have admitted grafting a VoIP company to the world's premier digital car boot sale made little sense, and have made it plain they would be interested in offers.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who sold up to eBay for $2.6bn in 2005, have approached private equity firms for help preparing a bid.

According to the report, analysts reckon eBay wants $1.7bn for Skype, which had revenues of $145m for the last quarter of 2008. The paper notes that a brewing intellectual property dispute between eBay and Skype's founders over its core P2P technology could prove a stumbling block, however. ®

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