eBay to sell Skype
After just over 2 years of acquiring VoIP service Skype, eBay may be selling off the unit if it does not find anything of significant use for it in its core business. If that happens later this year, Skype could be the largest single useless acquisition ever.
According to the Financial Times:
The comments from John Donahoe, who took over at the end of last month, are the most direct indication yet that Ebay is thinking of scrapping the ill-starred acquisition. It paid $3.1bn, but wrote down the value of the business by $1.4bn last year after concluding it would not match earlier hopes.
Ebay originally believed that Skype would oil the wheels of its online markets by making communications easier between buyers and sellers, while also supporting new business models such as “click to call”. Nearly three years after the acquisition, however, Ebay has yet to prove Skype can help its other businesses.
Skype reportedly had $126 million in revenues for the 1st Quarter of 2008, a 61% growth from same quarter last year. Top that with an additional 33 million new users for a total of 309 million worldwide.
That’s a relatively impressive performance in itself but the $2.4 billion (acquisition price devalued later on by eBay) service may not fit well with eBay’s plan to expand its growth.
If that happens, some bigger player could come into the scene. Google perhaps? Google Talk isn’t doing any good so buying Skype may be a good move.