EBay, one of the world's top e-commerce (Internet-based commerce) companies, is selling Skype, its Internet calling service, to a group of private investors for about $1.9 billion in cash.
U.S.-based EBay said Tuesday that the sale likely will be finalized later this year, and that it will retain a minority stake, 35 percent, in Skype.
Skype's technology allows people to use their personal computers to make phone calls to regular phones, mobile phones or other computers. Skype makes money when users call regular phones or use its voice mail and text messaging services.
EBay chief executive John Donahoe said the sale will allow Skype to focus on growing the on-line voice and video communication business.
EBay originally bought Skype in 2005 for about $2.6 billion, hoping to integrate the Internet-based calling technology with its own commerce and on-line payment businesses. But EBay officials say that, in the end, the technologies were not compatible.
Skype's buyer is an investment group led by a private equity firm, Silver Lake Partners, and includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
The New York Times reports that Skype is on pace to take more than $600 million in revenue this year.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.