EBay is considering selling off Skype, its $3.1billion VoIP acquisition from 2005 and a deal that the New York Times has called "one of the worst technology transactions of the decade".

The newspaper is quoting two sources "briefed on the company's plans" who say that EBay will be announcing a sale on Tuesday to a couple of private investment companies - Index Ventures and Silver Lake Partners. No price has been listed, but eBay has demanded $2 billion in the past for the VoIP service.

Skype's founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, have been interested in buying their old company back, but are currently involved in litigation with eBay over who owns the P2P technology behind Skype. That's due to go to court in the UK next year

Google has also been implicated in buying out Skype in the past, but is understood to have cooled its interest following its involvement in the mobile phone market, and worries about the aforementioned litigation.