In one of the more surprising turnarounds of a volatile business-tech market, it appears that eBay is on the brink of selling Skype back to the people they bought it from four years ago – its Scandinavian creators.

The usually reliable New York Times says original Skype owners Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have instructed intermediaries to negotiate with eBay about buying back the VoIP company.

Synergy missing

The scenario seems to have arisen after eBay CEO John Donahoe said publically that Skype brings no real benefits to the rest of the eBay group, which also includes PayPal.

That has been interpreted as a 'Come and Get it' nod and wink to the market, saying that Skype is up for sale.

Google not up for it

Given that failed 2005 bidder Google now has its own VoIP service in Google Voice, it looks like Zennstrom and Friis are in pole position to make a quick return.

Speaking of returns, the pair netted $3.1 billion (£2.1 billion) on the original sale, while analysts suggest eBay will be looking for around $1.7 billion (£1.2 billion) from them to take it back.