May 10, 2011 / 8:06 PM / 8 years ago

Timeline: Skype from startup to $8.5 billion sale

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft plans to pay $8.5 billion to buy Skype, nearly triple the amount that eBay Inc paid six years ago for the money-losing Internet phone company.

2003: Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis found Skype.

Sept 12, 2005: eBay unveils plan to buy Skype for about $3 billion, and integrate it into its online auction service.

October 2007: eBay takes a $1.4 billion writedown on Skype.

September 2009: eBay agrees to sell 65 percent of Skype for $2 billion to a group led by private equity firm Silver Lake and including Andreessen Horowitz. The deal values Skype at roughly $3 billion.

August 2010: Skype files for IPO, which some expect to raise as much as $1 billion.

October 2010: Skype names former Cisco exec Tony Bates as CEO, replacing Josh Silverman.

November 2010: Skype delays its IPO until 2011, according to sources. But it also considers selling itself.

May 4, 2011: Reuters reports that Facebook and Google are separately considering a tie-up with Skype. One source says a deal could value Skype at $3 billion to $4 billion.

May 10, 2011: Microsoft agrees to pay $8.5 billion to buy Skype with the agreement of Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Joltid in partnership with Europlay Capital Advisors and Andreessen Horowitz.

Sources: Reuters stories, Skype IPO prospectus

Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Tiffany Wu and Robert MacMillan

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