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eBay Plans IPO For Skype in 2010

     
9:26 pm on Apr 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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eBay Plans IPO For Skype in 2010 [investor.ebay.com]
eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) today announced that it plans to separate Skype from the company, beginning with an initial public offering that is intended to be completed in the first half of 2010. Specific timing of the IPO will be based on market conditions. "Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum," said eBay Inc.'s President and CEO, John Donahoe. "But it's clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal. We believe operating Skype as a stand-alone publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential. This will give Skype the focus and resources required to continue its growth and effectively compete in online voice and video communications. In addition, separating Skype will allow eBay to focus entirely on our two core growth engines—e-commerce and online payments—and deliver long-term value to our stockholders."
7:53 am on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This is code for "We're in discussions to sell Skype, let us know if you're interested."
1:37 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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IIRC most commentators said at the time of purchase that Ebay was wrong to buy Skype, for precisely the reasons Ebay is now admitting. There's just no overlap at all between a VOIP phone service and an online auctioneer.

What on earth were Ebay's managers thinking? How did they ever imagine Skype would bring any benefits to their shareholders?

The interesting question is who will buy Skype now? Google? Someone else?

1:51 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well Google has acquired Grandcentral and turned it into Google Voice so there is no market there. They need to sell it to people outside of the United states that wish to make calls to the US as if they were within the nation's border.
3:49 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't they have phones at auctions?
4:13 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This is code for "We're in discussions to sell Skype, let us know if you're interested."

it's not encoded, it's an ipo; they are selling it - to anybody willing to buy a share.

i have witnessed and executed a lot of free usage; it'll be interesting to see how they are converting it to paying customers.

4:20 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>Google has acquired Grandcentral and turned it into Google Voice

Isn't Google Voice a completely different concept from Skype? If it weren't I wouldn't be desperately awaiting notification that Google Voice is publicly available as it's the only product I know of that does what it does.

Google does have video chat, but what's the user base compared to Skype? If Google wants to achieve its goal of total world domination, it will eventually have to crush skype somehow.

4:58 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If Google wants to achieve its goal of total world domination, it will eventually have to crush skype somehow.

i doubt google has a chance, as skype is more of a leader in internet voice and video chat; and google is just trying to be everything to everybody - i don't think you'd sell too many cartons of milk and eggs in a hardware store. google would probably better off allowing people on skype to log in from their gmail accounts just like what they do with aim.

5:01 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If Google wants to achieve its goal of total world domination, it will eventually have to crush skype somehow.

Oh come on now... really....
5:09 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The interesting question is who will buy Skype now? Google?

Google Voice will convert voice mail to text. I'm certain they could identify spoken keywords on the fly and trigger AdWords related to a Skype conversation.

5:20 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well if you combine Gtalk, with video chat (already done) and combine it to Google Voice, it won't take much to render Skype obsolete
7:19 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>Oh come on now... really....

Er... I was speaking ironically

[edited by: ergophobe at 7:29 pm (utc) on April 15, 2009]

7:27 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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>>Oh come on now... really....
Er... I was speaking ironically.

I knew that.. LOL...
7:30 pm on Apr 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Now that I think about it though...

Much like MS in the old days, Google now seems to see every web technology that attracts a lot of eyeballs as something that it should either purchase or replicate. If they are serious about Talk and Voice, the simple fact is that Skype is their biggest competitor.

Face it, Google's goal is that once they get you signed in to one service (say GMail) you do not have to leave Google property to use Office, create a blog, share pictures and video, connect with friends (Orkut is a serious FB competitor in some countries), map your trip (Google Maps this month surpassed Mapquest in page views according to Hitwise), compare prices, get your news, read your RSS feeds, etc etc etc etc.

I can think of a few areas where Google makes no effort to compete (online auctions) or where its efforts are very different from the competition (buying books), but in general, Google wants to be at least a contender in most areas.

My crystal ball sees anti-trust actions in Google's future and, the whole Yahoo! thing shows that Google's crystal gazers see it too and I think that is a considerable restraint. Plus, of course, recent economic events may have caused Google to rethink acquiring unprofitable properties. I do not, however, see any limit to Google's ambition. That's not necessarily a criticism - I don't see anything wrong with ambition. But it certainly will open them to criticism and surveillance.

5:42 am on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As regular cellphones become more powerful and come with wifi built in, skype is going to become more popular (especially with unlimited outbound for $3 a month).

Skype Lite is running on more and more phones every other month:
[skype.com...]

Does google talk work on cellphones with wifi?

2:34 pm on Apr 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Skype would be a good fit for Google, as Google Voice offers up a lot of the services that Skype has but Skype would bring in a few things Google is missing, which are:

International Numbers (Google offers US numbers, but has a limited number of numbers and none internationally)

Direct Outbound Calling (currently Google calls your phone and the other party and connects you)

Direct Inbound Answering (Google rings your phone, as there is no way to pick up a call directly with GV)

International SMS (Google has the free SMS service, but only to US phones)

User base (Google Voice still isn't mainstream, Skype could make Google Voice a household name, not to mention the tie in with Google Talk.)

Here are some things that Google Voice has that Skype doesn't:

Transcribed Voicemail (while its new to Google its a great tool to be able to read the voice mail, espcially for those who have phones that don't offer playback or who are traveling.)

Free SMS (ok skype offers SMS but not free, we all love free)

Call Routing/Filtering (which makes Google’s option a corporate option, I give my GV number to anyone as unless I authorize your incoming number you can't call me at 4am)

Full Web Based System (I hate if I am traveling and need to access my skype settings, I need to install or use a skype program installed, not as effective as doing things from the web)

It doesn't make sense for Google not to buy Skype, why let a potential competitor simply grow bigger, Google knows when they've been beat (google video vs youtube) and in this case Skype is the perfect match to not only bring a user base but to grow features and functions.

4:20 am on Apr 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google buy Skype? I doubt it, more likely is Google saying "hey, wanna buy our stuff too" to the buyer.

I just don't see it panning out to be the gotta have it technology they originally hoped for.

3:10 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"Well if you combine Gtalk, with video chat (already done) and combine it to Google Voice, it won't take much to render Skype obsolete"

Skype's main asset isn't its technology, it's the massive userbase. Whoever buys Skype would be doing it mainly for the famous name and the large amount of subscribers.