There have been rumors about Skype being bought before, so these ones about eBay forking out between $2 billion and $5 billion for the VoIP company are just the latest, and to be taken in perspective. Note this WSJ piece says it could fall through, which is language suggesting these are simply talks, which happen all the time, and nothing may come of it. We still don’t understand why this makes sense for eBay, despite posts like this one. If calling is basically a commodity now, and eBay users can use Skype for free, why does eBay need to buy it for billions?
Update II, 9/9: A reader in comments forwards this story, about how China has banned SkypeOut. Here’s the relevant part:
The advent of VoIP, a low-priced but good sound quality system, made China Telecom lose a large number of users, industry insiders said. Mainland users need only pay 0.3 yuan (4 US cents) per minute to make international calls via VoIP to anywhere under SkypeOut but they have to fork out 8 yuan per minute to New York if they dial through China Telecom