[edit: 2 Sept 2009 – eBay to sell 65% of Skype. FINALLY!]
I skimmed the article, but there’s been some rumblings about this for some time now. Funny thing is, the same thing happened almost exactly a year ago, 18 April 2008, as reported by Techcrunch.com, no less!
Strange. Could eBay be using Skype for the publicity value because, um, they either need to fish or finally cut bait!
In any event, they know they can’t charge for Skype because everyone would then leave the service for the next upstart to come along, thereby making Skype completely worthless, and they don’t know how to monetize it because they had a weak plan for integrating it into their existing services in the first place.
The techcrunch article mentions selling PayPal, another acquisition, might also boost eBay’s share price.
But seriously, who wants to video conference with the dood in Iowa you just bought that killer guitar from? You just want to buy your stuff (or sell) and move on.
I’m amazed most by the fact that eBay has done little, if anything, to actually connect itself with Skype and hasn’t made any moves to proactively utilise it. Will they follow through with the sale this time? The economic climate and probably shareholders griping will tell the tale.
The kicker to this story is now eBay wants to spin off Skype as a public company and issue an IPO (Techcrunch.com). GOOD LUCK in the Sarbanes-Oxley era. That initial 2.6 Billion purchase will balloon to 3 or 3.1Billion in filing fees and investigations alone. S-O is no joke.
I’m interested to see what happens with this one. Though I’m not holding my breath.