eBay looks to flog useless stuff
Its, not yours
eBay has sold web bookmarking site StumbleUpon back to its founders, and could do the same with Skype, according to reports.
The online tat bazaar swallowed StumbleUpon for $75m in 2007 in an apparently aimless fit of web 2.0 envy.
It's now back in the hand of founders Garrett Camp and Geoff Smith, backed by venture capital. The details of the deal, done on Monday, haven't been revealed (hint: <$75m).
eBay is likely to take a much more severe haircut if it manages to offload Skype. Bosses have admitted grafting a VoIP company to the world's premier digital car boot sale made little sense, and have made it plain they would be interested in offers.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who sold up to eBay for $2.6bn in 2005, have approached private equity firms for help preparing a bid.
According to the report, analysts reckon eBay wants $1.7bn for Skype, which had revenues of $145m for the last quarter of 2008. The paper notes that a brewing intellectual property dispute between eBay and Skype's founders over its core P2P technology could prove a stumbling block, however. ®
Well, Skype is bollocks anyway. If you want to sell telecommunications services, you have to communicate nicely with other people. Using your own jealously-guarded, proprietary protocol while others around you are using an open, published protocol would be a recipe for alienation even if you were first to the table.
The minute Skype is made compatible with proper VoIP (for which read: Asterisk), there's suddenly no reason to be using Skype as opposed to any of the existing applications which use the open IAX protocol.
Come to think of it, anyone with an IAX-compliant application that is easy for chavs to download could knock Skype off their perch.
After using sip with hardware and xlite for a few years, I had to use skype for video the other day. It was so bad, we ended up using a normal landline and turning off skype's sound.
Does anyone know the auction number for skype?