EBay / Skype

From this morning’s WSJ:

EBay May Buy Web Phone Firm In Strategy Shift

September 8, 2005; Page A3

EBay Inc. is in talks to acquire Internet-telephony company Skype Technologies SA for $2 billion to $3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would represent a dramatic shift in strategy for the world’s largest online auction site.

The talks are in a sensitive stage and could fall apart, according to one person briefed on the matter. Luxembourg-based Skype, whose software allows consumers to make free telephone calls around the world using Internet technology, has been in active discussions with other technology companies, and none has led to a deal.

But the emergence of eBay as a suitor reveals a lot about the auction leader’s growth prospects and strategy. While still dominating its field, eBay’s core business is maturing, and the company is searching for new product categories and international markets. The company has made a steady string of acquisitions and investments over the last year and a half to enter markets such as rental-property listings, online classified-ad listings and comparison shopping.

EBay’s stock price has languished during the past 12 months, and yesterday closed at $40.46 a share, giving it a market capitalization of nearly $55 billion.

Color me baffled.


  1. eBay to buy Skype?

    I just saw a rumour that eBay could be on the prowl to buy Skype. Bit of a business model shift, it would seem. The news comes out of the September 8th Wall Street Journal: EBay Inc. is in…

  2. Martin Tibbitts says:

    This deal makes a lot of sense…for Skype. Why Ebay thinks there is synergy is beyond me.
    Martin Tibbitts

  3. Nigel deGruyther says:

    Perhaps things were poorly presented. Could it be that EBay is not buying Skype, but offered to list it on their auction site?

  4. This post is actually very interesting and quite similar to a recent post on my blog: