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Why is eBay buying Skype?

I’m still trying to figure out why eBay is paying $2.6 billion (or more, depending on performance, for Skype. Judging from the Business Week article, analysts are having trouble figuring out what’s going on as well. Here’s the closest Business Week comes to taking a stab:

EBay buyers and sellers can communicate with each other via e-mail before a transaction is complete, and presumably Skype would give eBay a way to add voice to such chats. But eBay traditionally has been guarded about such communications out of fears that deals might get taken offline to avoid fees.

That cannot possibly be the answer. That functionality isn’t worth 10% of the amount that eBay is paying for Skype. Is the idea here that eBay just wants to get into a completely new line of business? Honestly, I’m baffled.

1 Comment

  1. The current Vanity Fair has an article on Skype. http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/articles/050815roco01

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