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eBay Beefs Up VoIP Roster

Its Skype unit buys Sonorit for about $27 million in stock.
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Skype unit agreed to acquire Internet voice specialist Sonorit Holdings for stock worth about $27 million, working to stay ahead of the technology curve in an increasingly crowded Web telephony space.

Skype will exchange 700,000 eBay shares for Sonorit and its U.S. subsidiary, Camino Networks. eBay sees no impact on its 2006 earnings from the deal.

"The acquisition will allow Skype to add some of the leading experts in online voice engineering to its own team of technologists to help design and develop Skype for the future," the company said.

Skype's acquisition comes about three weeks after reports surfaced that



plans to launch a Web-based phone service of its own.


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is also widely believed to be a likely player in the space, in which computer users use local client software to place telephone calls over the Internet.

eBay closed at $38.09 Monday.