Should eBay sell Skype?

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Prompted by an article in the Guardian, rumours are flying around that eBay are in talks with Google to sell Skype. The response from PR is that “we don’t comment on rumours or speculation”, and in truth I’d be surprised if they did have anything to say before an official announcement to investors.

So putting aside speculation, should eBay off load Skype to Google, or indeed to anyone? Firstly Skype is now profit making, not a lot, but it’s not losing money. Following a $900m write down in October this year eBay, Skype is all paid for and far from being a drain on finances it’s starting to earn it’s keep.

The original Skype management team have now all departed the company leaving it in the safe hands of eBay CSO and acting Skype CEO Michael van Swaaij. There are no distractions such as Joost for the current management team.

Skype have been increasing their user base, and with partnerships such as 3 with the Skypephone and MySpace, market awareness is growing. Finally all eBay listings are Skype enabled with sellers able to add Skype Chat and Call buttons to the existing email link in the sellers information box.

So all is rosy with Skype (or as rosy as it could be), so why sell it off? It’s the same as suggesting eBay divest themselves of PayPal. The businesses sit well with eBay’s core auction business. If you want to trade you need to be paid and you need to communicate. I can understand the arguements that both PayPal and Skype could be floated off as standalone companies, but together they enhance the eBay offering and better to keep control of them than let them go and wish you hadn’t. Meg strikes me as a lady who likes to keep control.

4 Responses

  1. Maybe they are looking to make a profit to boost their income, which I reckon is on the decline with the recent management of Ebay.

    This would keep the shareholders happy, if it produced a profit, wouldn’t it?


  2. “Firstly Skype is now profit making, not a lot, but it’s not losing money.”

    Somewhere in the tens of millions of bucks ehh, Chris. Not a lot. 😉

  3. Yeah, so you lost a few quid, but will Google or anyone else be willing to make up the deficeit and be another over the top paying mug?

    I reckon money lost (and lets face it eBay have a health bank balance) is gone, so look to the future and having swallowed the pill reap the rewards long term rather than write it off 😉


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