The pair that created Skype and sold it to eBay are rumoured to be buying it back from the auction site.

Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have, according to the New York Times, approached several private equity firms and are pooling their own substantial resources to make a bid for the internet calling service.

The two men sold Skype to eBay in 2005 for $2.6 billion, and later received bonus payouts that increased the final price to $3.1 billion.

Although all parties rumoured to be involved declined to comment to the New York Times' requests, eBay is believed to be looking for a price of at least $1.7 billion, almost a billion dollars less than they bought it from Zennstrom and Friis in 2005.

eBay has struggled to make the most of Skype since its purchase 4 years ago, and while the VoIP company has gone from strength to strength, Skype's iPhone app has been downloaded over 2 million times for example, the auction site has failed to make the most of integrating the service into its auction website.

Skype has also said that it is planning on launching an application for BlackBerry handsets in May, as it continues to attempt to build on its 405 million users worldwide.