I was never clear on why eBay bought Skype back in 2005. An on line auction site buys a global, essentially consumer, VOiP provider. Where were the synergies? Well apparently E-bay has concluded that there really aren’t any great ones. Wall Street Journal Deal Alert just published an article that included a comment by eBay:
“Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum,” said eBay Chief Executive 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.”
“Ebay bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005.”
eBay turned down a pretty significant buyout offer put to them by Skype’s founders and a few Private Equity firms saying that the offer didn’t reflect the true value of the company. eBay’s solution? Seems that they plan on testing the IPO market in the first half of 2010. That just might be the biggest bet eBay makes in the entire relationship. Maybe Donahoe knows something the rest of us don’t or he has a clearer crystal ball!