eBay sells StumbleUpon, Skype is next

Online auctioneers eBay have decided the time is right to sell off two of its businesses - the web personalisation and recommendation service StumbleU

StumbleUpon has been sold back to its original founders, Garrett Camp (who will be new CEO) and Geoff Smith, with the help of some hefty Silicon Valley venture capitalists. eBay bought StumbleUpon in May 2007 for $75 million (£50 million) but is unlikely to get anywhere close to that for the business today - especially as visitor growth has been elusive for Digg rival.

Skype is likely to cost the auctioneer even more. Although eBay paid a total of over $3 billion (£2 billion) for the internet phone company, it has already written off nearly half that value. A plan to sell Skype back to its founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis (see a pattern here?), fell through this week, and eBay now plans to float Skype via an IPO sometime in 2010.

Skype has had a boost recently, with over a million people downloading the Skype for iPhone application in its first 36 hours. To date, the app (which works only via the Apple phone's Wi-Fi link) has added over 500,000 new Skype users.

As for eBay itself? We'd be the last to say, going, going, gone.