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eBay May Sell Skype Back to Founders

Gordon Kelly


eBay May Sell Skype Back to Founders

The eBay Skype purchase never made the greatest deal of sense. $2.6bn for the 2005 deal ($3.1bn ultimately) was hugely overpriced and it took eBay nearly a year just to figure out how to integrate it into eBay. Three years later and have you ever used Skype during an eBay transaction?!

Consequently, news of a sale isn't really surprising - what is are the buyers: Joost creators Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. The dynamic Scandinavian duo founded Skype and first launched the service way back in August 2003.

A potential $2bn asking price has been mooted with $1bn coming from private investors with eBay itself potentially financing an additional $1bn via a seller's note to sever ties from the unwanted business. Personally I'd be surprised if the deal tops $1.5-1.75bn in the current climate despite the Skype user base having increased from 53m to 403m during the intervening period.

Unsurprisingly neither party has been prepared to comment on the rumour which generally serves to only strengthen water cooler talk. Don't be shocked to see something official harden up on this over the next few months - willing seller/loving creators tends to lead to smooth deals and it was a very silly deal to begin with...


via The NYT


April 14, 2009, 1:42 am

The fact that Skype has an installed user base of 400+ million is great and everything, but, how many of them actually regularly make calls with the system, let alone revenue-generating SkypeOut calls? The company's growth in revenue has been rather poor (comparitively) when compared with the rate at which the user base has increased.

As for eBay, maybe they'll try and get rid of Skype in an auction...or perhaps with a 'Buy It Now' or 'Best Offer' price - how about we do a whip-round of TR users and launch a bid ourselves? ;-)


April 14, 2009, 2:03 am

Skype's great but hardly any of my real world friends use it. It's just like Twitter, a techie geek service ignored by the majority.


April 14, 2009, 4:20 am

I gave up on Skype a while ago, because I kept on getting echoing in calls made using a Skype-phone (attached to my router). Switched to a Siemens Sip-phone and have had no problems with that. Also, Skype didn't offer a geographic number for my area, but the SIP provider did, so that was another negative against Skype.

Hamish Campbell

April 14, 2009, 1:53 pm

Well perhaps because most of my friends are currently expats, there is a lot of skype usage I know about. Although as they are all computer literate, and so are their parents, then most of it is free pc-pc. However there is still a bit of skype out calls.

If you want to find someone using it in the UK just ask any Kiwi or Aussie in a bar near you.


April 15, 2009, 4:21 am

I don't usually use skype, but my parents are never off it! I guess if you have a lot of family abroad, you'll be making a lot of use of skype. However, as more and more people get skype, surely your revenue stream is going to reduce, due to the fact, as computer hardware gets cheaper, and net connections more prevalent, a higher proportion of your calls will be made with Skype to Skype, instead of skypeout. My parents usually use about &#16310 of credit every 2-3 months. This was compared to around &#16325 every 2 months when they were buying phonecards.

Twitter has the same revenue generating problems. It will never entirely take off in the popularity stakes, and unlike facebook is a tool that cannot make money, unless they start selling twitter users stories or other info/data, which users would not agree to anyway! Poor business models. Anyway, can somebody tell me what excitement do most people engage in day to day/hour to hour/minute to minute that others want to read about? Very few, apart from celebs and journalists...and perhaps the odd friend that has taken to travelling the world and wants to report back to others they know. Actually, they'd set up a facebook group...

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