Skype = failed acquisition for eBay

Skype has been a great product but a crumby acquisition for eBay.

eBay is planning to write down $1.4 billion in Skype-related charges, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Internet auction giant said the charges include $530 million to complete payments related to its 2005 acquisition of Luxembourg-based Skype. The other roughly $900 million in charges reflect goodwill impairment due to "the updated long-term financial outlook for Skype."

This is too bad, since the Skype service has so much promise, and Skype could fit nicely with someone else. I never could understand the alleged synergies between the two, but now that I'm a happy Skype user, I hope eBay figures out where to put Skype, because it's really quite a good system ( better than Vonage, I'm finding ).

How about Skype + Cisco? Or Skype + Microsoft, for that matter? Or, really, Skype + anyone besides eBay? :-) Seriously, the deal was driven by hype - it was a case of eBay wanting to buy something hot to juice its then sagging sexiness. It didn't work, but eBay is chugging along, anyway.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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