eBay will sell off Skype

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The speculation about Skype is (probably) over: it’s to be floated as an independent company some time next year. The specific timing of the IPO will, says the company, be based on market conditions.

In a statement, John Donahoe said that “Skype is a great stand-alone business”: we’ve heard him say this before, though I don’t think anyone expected “stand-alone” to quite mean this. But it’s clear that eBay is now concentrating solely on what it perceives to be its core market: “separating Skype will allow eBay to focus entirely on our two core growth engine – e-commerce and online payments – and deliver long-term value to our stockholders.”

In 2008, Skype generated revenue of US$551 million; eBay’s prediction is that this will increase to $1billion by 2011. There had been speculation that Skype’s founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, were in talks to purchase the company back from eBay, but it seems that the price they were prepared to pay was lower than eBay were prepared to accept. By delaying the IPO until next year, are eBay hoping to find more favourable market conditions to recoup some of the $2.6billion they paid for Skype?

One Response

  1. Maybe it’s just allowing the court case regarding claimed breaches of their licensing agreement to play out – they must be very confident of winning.



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