eBay ponders Skype bail out
Implementing buy high, sell low strategy
eBay is considering flogging off Skype, the VoIP provider it paid $2.6bn for in 2005.
The auction house has already written off $1.4bn relating to the purchase. It has failed to integrate the technology into its core auction business, and although Skype continues to pick up users, it is still struggling to find a way to make much cash out of them.
eBay dropped a new CEO into Skype in February - Josh Silverman was previously running comparison service shopping.com.
But eBay CEO John Donahoe told the Financial Times that he would reassess the future of Skype if they could not find "strong synergies". Three years after the acquisition some would say the synergies should be obvious by now.
Donahoe also told the paper that "Skype is a great standalone business". It is expected to make a profit this year on revenues of $500m and more than 300 million users.
Donahoe also moved to squash rumours that eBay could sell off PayPal - such a move might be good for PayPal, which increasingly gets revenues from elsewhere but also provides better margins for eBay whenever it is used on the auction site. ®
Skype integrates with Asterisk
SKYPE - if you look carefully IS able to integrate with Asterisk - but the cheeky beggars charge LICENCES for it - a quick scan of ebay dot reveals this.
It is difficult to imagine a developer purchasing or agreeing to integrate this solution but a greedy "entrepreneur" would.
Because Asterisk is the coat and Skype is the perpetrator !
Skype is dead anyway
Skype is dying anyway. Proprietary business models only work if you are already the dominant player (e.g., Microsoft with their Office file formats) and even then are vulnerable to disruption from outside. You can't hope get into an existing, established market that way.
Imagine if an electricity company promised you free power for life -- but only if you used their special branded appliances, which could not be examined internally, wouldn't work on anyone else's juice, and furthermore their special proprietary sockets were designed so you couldn't measure the voltage or frequency. The only place that has even a glimmer of a chance of working is somewhere where there is no existing electricity supply.
Communications only make sense if everybody can communicate with everybody else; and the only way that can be guaranteed is to have open standards.
As long as Skype remains incompatible with Asterisk, it will be locked out from the "real world" of VoIP -- but if Skype *was* compatible with Asterisk, there would be no compelling reason to prefer it over any of the alternatives.
Perhaps they will put it for sale on eBay. Then perhaps the buyer can pay with Paypal and claim that the goods were significantly not as described or not delivered and get a refund.