rfunches writes "It's not a rumour anymore. BBC News online reports that eBay will pay 'half the amount in cash and the other half in stocks to create an unparalleled e-commerce and communications engine'." The $2.6 billion purchase would give eBay access to the VoIP market, of which Skype claims it has 2 million users online at any given time. BBC speculates that eBay will use Skype to allow sellers and bidders to communicate via voice; I have also heard that live auctions a la Sothebys might also be a possibility. Also reported at Wall Street Journal (registration), New York Times."