You have got to admire the negotiating skills of eBay's John Donahoe. One minute he was facing up to the possibility of a largely self-inflicted disaster over Skype, the next he had concluded a deal to sell a majority share in the business to a consortium of venture capital firms at a price which valued it close to the amount eBay originally paid in 2005. And if that turns out to be too low, the 35% stake in Skype that eBay continues to hold offers a very handy insurance policy.

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