What a day. First Oracle buying Siebel and now this - Ebay winning the Skype sweepstakes. Just my luck. Two weeks ago I wrote an article on the IM industry and how Skype was stirring things up and probably was a factor in Google bringing out their IM app. The following week Microsoft buys Teleo, a company with technology to allow PCs to call telephones a la Skype. I write a a blog entry discussing how Skype seems to be driving all these moves and could drive the telephone companies crazy, and now the rumors of Ebay buying them have come true. A two year old company who made $7M last year hauls in $2.6B, and if they hit certain financial goals the deal could grow to over $4B. Like Don King always says, this kind of thing takes place "Only in Luxembourg."
A lot of people don't why Ebay would make this move. It's easy to see why one of telecos would have snapped it up, even if it was to shelve them and not have to compete with those 2.3 cents per minute rates. I guess I look at Ebay as a social network built on commerce. Millions of AIM users and Yahoo IM users and MSN Messenger users are also very active Ebay users. And right now AIM Ebayers can't IM Yahoo IM Ebayers who also can't IM MSN Messenger Ebayers. Now Ebay has cleared the way for instant communications (and commerce) via IM or phone for all Ebayers. That's not a bad idea.
I was really looking to see how much of the business world Skype was going to change in terms of telecommunications and CRM. I don't know if Ebay bought them to start a revolution. Maybe the telecos can breathe a little easier....maybe.