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WSJ: Skype, EBay in Merger Talks
[September 08, 2005]

WSJ: Skype, EBay in Merger Talks

By Greg Galitzine

Reuters is reporting on a WSJ story today that has online auction site EBay Inc. in talks to acquire Internet-telephone company Skype for between $2 billion and $3 billion.

Skype has been rumored to be in discussions with other technology companies, but so far this summer there has been no deal.

While I understand the desire for even a leading company to maintain growth and identify new sources of revenue, but I don’t quite get the marriage of EBay and Skype. One of the unnamed sources in the Journal story said that “eBay was keen on adding services that make it easier to buy and sell goods online, as it did when it acquired the electronic-payment processing service PayPal in 2002.”

Does EBay want to enable buyers to talk to sellers? If that’s even a good idea, why not partner with or simply endorse one of the existing PC to PC VoIP services? Save the $3billion, and maybe take a small piece of each call generated within the EBay universe.

Does EBay really want to become a phone company?

Then again, I did write recently that we would see all manner of new phone companies sprouting up like mushrooms after rain (Disney, Nike, etc...) so why not EBay? They've certainly got brand recognition.

As they say, stay tuned.

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