In a move that could mark a big strategy shift for the online auction company,
is in talks to acquire Internet telephony company
Skype Technologies SA
for between US$2 billion and $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the talks.
The talks are at an early stage and could still fall apart, according to one person briefed on the matter, the Journal reported.
Skype has talked with a few other interested buyers, including News Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., the newspaper said, but none of these talks have led to deals.
The Luxembourg-based company, which provides a free VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service in addition to several premium services, is also considering an IPO (initial public offering).
As the core business of eBay — online auction sales — matures, the company has been looking to expand into new product areas and international markets, according to the WSJ report.