eBay Takes Big Charge on Skype

Online auctioneer eBay, which acquired Internet phone company Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005, has admitted failure by taking a $1.4 billion write-down on the value of the company yesterday. At the same time, eBay also announced that Skype co-founder and chief executive Niklas Zennstrom was resigning his position.

According to analysts, this represents an admission from eBay that it paid too much for Skype two years ago, and hasn't found a good way of integrating Internet calling into its core businesses. While Internet calling is often seen as a reasonable secondary service, few seem willing to adopt it as their primary phone service.

I use Skype occasionally, primarily for overseas calls. It seems to have greater acceptance in Europe, where the company has its roots, than in the U.S. What's your take on Internet calling? Does it have a future, or is it destined to be relegated to the sidelines? Tell me at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Peter Varhol on 10/02/2007 at 1:23 PM


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