Will EBAY Sell Skype

Is SKYPE on the market to be sold that is the current rumor that is floating out there in the Market place.  For those of you that are not familiar with Skype it is a great Internet based phone system you can use from any computer. When I was writing this article I logged into my Skype account and could see over 15 million users where using SKYPE  at the time.

With SKYPE two people anywhere in the world that each have a computer can do free Video conferencing. The video and sound quality is excellent.

With SKYPE you can set up a local number in lets say Budapest, Hungary. Have your friend who lives in Budapest call the number and have it ring your cell phone in the U.S. The person in Budapest is only paying a local call and the person in the U.S.  is paying a local call.

These are just a few examples of how SKYPE works. There is a good reason why you see 15 million active users.

In September 12, 2005 EBAY aquired skype:

eBay to Acquire Skype


London, September 12, 2005 – eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY; www.ebay.com) has agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA, the global Internet communications company, for approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. The acquisition will strengthen eBay’s global marketplace and payments platform, while opening several new lines of business and creating significant new monetization opportunities for the company. The deal also represents a major opportunity for Skype to advance its leadership in Internet voice communications and offer people worldwide new ways to communicate in a global online era. Skype, eBay and PayPal will create an unparalleled ecommerce and communications engine for buyers and sellers around the world.
“Communications is at the heart of ecommerce and community,” said Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay. “By combining the two leading ecommerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in Internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the Net.”
Founded in 2002 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Skype offers high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world. The Skype software is easy to download and install, and enables free calls between Skype users online. Skype’s premium services provide low-cost connectivity to traditional fixed and mobile telephones. Skype’s software also offers a robust set of features, including voicemail, instant messaging, call forwarding and conference calling. Upcoming product innovations include Skype video, expressive content such as avatars, and customized toolbars for Outlook and Internet Explorer.
One of the fastest growing companies on the Internet, Skype already has 54 million members in 225 countries and territories. Skype is currently adding approximately 150,000 users a day and has created a thriving ecosystem of products, services, developers, and affiliates. Skype is considered the market leader in virtually all countries in which it does business. In North America alone, Skype has more users and serves more voice minutes than any other Internet voice communications provider.

“Our vision for Skype has always been to build the world’s largest communications business and revolutionize the ease with which people can communicate through the Internet,” said Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder. “We can’t think of any better platform to fulfill this vision to become the voice of the Internet than with eBay and PayPal.”

“We’re great admirers of how eBay and PayPal have simplified global ecommerce and payments,” said Janus Friis, Skype co-founder and senior vice president, strategy. “Together we feel we can really change the way that people communicate, shop and do business online.”
To read more of the official press release when skype was first purchased by EBAY

Official Press Release Ebay Purchase of SKYPE

So the question on the table, is skype now for sale three  years later.

From the TIMESONLINE January 26, 2009 in the U.K. came this article:

Speculation grows over eBay plan to sell Skype internet telephone division

Chief executive’s descrition of internet telephony group as great standalone business fires speculation

Speculation is mounting that eBay, the internet auction website, is preparing to sell Skype, its internet telephone company.

Industry insiders believe that eBay signalled its intent last week after John Donahue, its chief executive, described Skype as a “great stand-alone business”. This has led to suggestions that eBay would find it relatively easy to part with Skype, if a substantial bid was made.

Mr Donahue was speaking to analysts about eBay’s disappointing fourth-quarter profits, which had been hit by slowing consumer spending.

When asked what was being done by eBay to add shareholder value in Skype, Mr Donahue admitted that “the synergies between Skype and the other parts of our portfolio are minimal. We’re going to continue to run and operate the business. It’s not a distraction currently. And at such time when we have further announcements on that, we’ll let you know.”

To read the remainder of the article:

Speculation grows over eBay plan to sell Skype internet telephone division

Its interesting to note that if EBAY, did sell skype it would not get back it’s initial investment. It would probably only get 1 Billion dollars, not the 2.6 Billion it paid. With that said. It would be an easy business to sell off raise a lot if cash and not negatively impact the core business. It makes a lot of sense to sell. 

Posted Michael Corey,

Founder & CEO, Ntirety



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