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EBay Sells Skype To Marc Andreessen

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the must-be-nice-to-have-that-bankroll dept.

Netscape 125

Julefrokost writes "Computerworld has a story about eBay selling Skype. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, along with a group of investors, are reported to have paid $2 billion for Skype. According to the New York Times, Google was also a potential buyer. Also, the original founders of Skype are said to have placed a bid, but Marc Andreessen & Co was the highest bidder."

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125 comments

I hope they improve it... as it was. (5, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272743)

I hope the new owners make it better and re-incorporate the functionality it had before.

I really miss Skypecasts, it was a really useful tool for practicing languages and having informal meetings (moderation, talk turns, etc)...

Just today I spent about an hour looking for a skypecast alternative where I could practice my German with others (maybe first only hearing and talking a bit later).

IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29272833)

Madonna is 51!

I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was
Until I found you

I was beat incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new

Chorus:

Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats
Next to mine

Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you
'Cause only love can last

You're so fine and you're mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold
Oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out
What was scared and cold

(chorus)

Oooh, oooh, oooh

You're so fine and you're mine
I'll be yours 'till the end of time
'Cause you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
I've nothing to hide

(chorus)

Like a virgin, ooh, ooh
Like a virgin
Feels so good inside
When you hold me, and your heart beats, and you love me

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Ooh, baby
Can't you hear my heart beat
For the very first time

MADONNA IS THE BEST!

FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29281595)

Her birthday was 2 weeks ago, fathead.

Re:I hope they improve it... as it was. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29272989)

Teamspeak / ventrilo / mumble? :P

Re:I hope they improve it... as it was. (4, Informative)

woodrad (1091201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273783)

You might want to try joining a site like Livemocha. Usually people will want to talk to you on Skype. Another good way to improve your German would be to join dict.cc and send messages to German native speakers on there who are likely wanting to improve their English. Hope that helps.

Re:I hope they improve it... as it was. (3, Insightful)

cgfsd (1238866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274737)

I have found online sex chats/video with foreign women as a good alternative for learning new languages.

IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29272753)

Madonna is 51!

http://www.madonna.com
http://www.icon.com

I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was
Until I found you

I was beat incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new

Chorus:

Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats
Next to mine

Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you
'Cause only love can last

You're so fine and you're mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold
Oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out
What was scared and cold

(chorus)

Oooh, oooh, oooh

You're so fine and you're mine
I'll be yours 'till the end of time
'Cause you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
I've nothing to hide

(chorus)

Like a virgin, ooh, ooh
Like a virgin
Feels so good inside
When you hold me, and your heart beats, and you love me

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Ooh, baby
Can't you hear my heart beat
For the very first time

MADONNA IS THE BEST!

Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (5, Interesting)

Demoriel (1478317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272755)

Is Skype really worth half the value of Marvel? Disney got an amazing deal...

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (2, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273035)

Does Skype even make money..?

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273219)

If you RTFA you would know that "its revenue grew 25 percent year-on-year to $170 million in the second quarter".

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273251)

If you GAFDIA you'd know that revenue != profit.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

Gainax (127325) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274349)

(revenue = making money) ~= profit.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274899)

You forgot to substract operating expenses (payroll, data centers, facilities, bills, etc.). Try this:

(revenue - expenses) = profit

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#29279919)

Slight correction to your equation:

(revenue - expenses) = profit??

Until you've measured the subject, you won't have a result. Quite like quantum superpositioning

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274469)

WTF is "GAFIDA"?

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29275145)

If you got a fucking degree in anything you would know.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29276457)

If it was GAFDIAF, it'd be Go And Fucking Die In A Fire, but it's not so I don't know what it means.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29280983)

Get a Fucking Degree in Accounting?

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29281063)

WTF is "GAFIDA"?

My best guess based on the context is "Get a fucking degree in accounting".

Revenue != Profit

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29281481)

Presumably GAFIDA is the dyslexic version of the grandparent's GAFDIA which probably means Get A Fucking Degree In Accounting

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29280609)

If you GAFDIA you'd know that revenue != profit.

If I Got A Fucking Diploma In Aconomics?

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273793)

giving skype money is the best alternative currently available to "explaining to your mom how to get skype to work"

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273437)

Is Skype really worth half the value of Marvel? Disney got an amazing deal...

Welcome to the ridiculous disparity between old media and new media.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273803)

Is Skype really worth half the value of Marvel? Disney got an amazing deal...

Sure, I'd say 2500 superheroes for Skype is about right.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29274789)

They tried to get as much as Marvel got from Disney, but $4 Billion was too high a Buy It Now price, so they had people submit Best Offers. However, part of the Best Offer acceptance is immediate payment with PayPal.

Re:Skype worth half the value of Marvel? (1)

BryanL (93656) | more than 4 years ago | (#29275415)

Actually, Andreesen only bought 65% of Skype for $1.95B.

Oops. (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272757)

Apparently the original creators of Skype aren't really that smart if they don't know how to use proxy bidding. Too bad.

Re:Oops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273479)

And how would that help them placing the highest bid when others simply offer more?

Re:Oops. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273761)

Look, I hate this word, but... WHOOSH!!

Re:Oops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29274393)

So, please enlighten me, what was the woosh?

Ekiga (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272769)

Cool. Now they'll surely want to "monetize" it, which should drive users to Ekiga instead :-)
Is there a Windows port?

Re:Ekiga (2, Informative)

sebt3 (923707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273105)

Is there a Windows port?

Sure, http://wiki.ekiga.org/index.php/Windows_Users [ekiga.org]

Re:Ekiga (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273733)

Which is cool. If you've got Mac, Windows, and Linux versions of a decent SIP solution (Ekiga's become one and there's a few good alternatives if you don't like that...) then all you'd need is a sip service that has PSTN dial-out/in support. There's a few, but the truth of the matter is that all of them have issues and it's entertaining trying to find SIP hardware like you can Skype stuff in the stores.

Re:Ekiga (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29277577)

So I checked out Ekiga and what's amusing is that it shows that a recent version was 3.2.1, which sounds like a really mature product. But from the release notes, it says it's the first stable version of Ekiga with release notes showing tons of crash/leak fixes and since then lots of crash fixes. Having gone through 3.2.3 to 3.2.5, they're now on to 3.20? And I thought Microsoft took liberties with version numbers!

Really, this thing should still be 0.x with a beta tag on it.

Surprised (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272771)

Considering the continuing legal troubles [eweek.com], I'm surprised they found a buyer. That's why Google purportedly backed out of negotiations to buy them some time back.

Re:Surprised (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273275)

The fact that the "underlying P2P" technology was not property of Skype made me wonder about the possibility of the technology owners enabling eavesdropping mechanisms behind closed doors... while everybody concentrates on whether Skype is good or evil... the background company in charge of moving all the p2p bytes goes unnoticed.

Re:Surprised (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29274155)

i don't think you understand p2p my friend

Surprised? Oh my yes... (2, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278819)

The fact that the "underlying P2P" technology was not property of Skype made me wonder about the possibility of the technology owners enabling eavesdropping mechanisms behind closed doors..

Sometimes it takes a very long time for the penny to drop. Ah, I'm getting old.

Could it possibly be that a *much* larger organisation than the Hollywood studios is actually behind the drive to quash P2P technology universally?

Follow the money, they say. Now... it's not a question of who would benefit most, but who would lose the most if P2P was allowed to roam free?

Next question - Who is shaping down P2P network traffic without telling us? The ISP's? And they're owned by...

The Telcos. Yep, all of them. Chargeable point to point telecommunications are under threat, copper and cell both - people are still charged by the call, not by the TCP/IP connection. It's bread and butter.

Telcos have the most to fear by the proliferation of Skype, Ventrilo, TeamSpeak et.al...

I know correlation isn't causation, but it sure as hell draws your eye. Big question here: are the Telcos, behind the odd blind financing dodges, actually bankrolling the fight against P2P technologies?

Think ... SCO epic to kill Linux; beyond the obvious threat to Microsoft, the comms are a bit too "open" to make the telcos really comfortable. The RIAA - yes, we know the record companies are bringing suit, and we know what they're like, but isn't P2P technology an enabler of free phone calls?

I know this is tinfoil hat stuff, but I also consider that people who make it to the strategy-deciding levels at communications firms do know a bit about communications strategies. P2P is aimed squarely at their wallets. If I were a bastard in their position it's what I'd do. And in the aggregate, I think they outweigh Microsoft and all the record companies too, no?

Buy now!!! (2, Funny)

Oskuro (26466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272781)

I wonder if there was a "Skype" item on sale in eBay...

Google must have hit a "speed bump". :)

Re:Buy now!!! (4, Interesting)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273031)

I think Google (and myself) are better off with Google Voice. I never liked skype and if you look at prices for making calls to landlines and cellphones in Europe they're more expensive than the alternative. With Google voice I can call Europe for 2 cents a minute from any U.S. phone, without having to log onto my computer.

Re:Buy now!!! (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273223)

With Google voice I can call Europe for 2 cents a minute from any U.S. phone, without having to log onto my computer.

With Google Voice, you need a land line, or to burn up cell minutes. That's a major liability. I use GV every day, but it's no substitute for internet telephony. (There are numerous SIP providers out there, though.)

Re:Buy now!!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29274693)

burn up cell minutes.

Wrong. I have a G1 on T-Mobile and just put my GV number into my favorite 5. All outbound calls I make with Google Voice are included in my plan 24 hours a day, all month long so I just cranked my plan minutes down to the minimum and it's great.

Re:Buy now!!! (1)

whoop (194) | more than 4 years ago | (#29275503)

Give the Magicjack device a try then, $20/year. I dropped my cell phone recently (barely got use and waiting for more Android phones to come out), and picked up a Magicjack to use with my existing Google Voice account. MJ doesn't support very many area codes (only major cities it seems), but GVoice does, so I have a local phone number for others to call me.

The only breakups in voice calls I've had were while downloading a big file, saturating my line. Traffic shaping should fix that, once I get around to it.

Re:Buy now!!! (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29276761)

Naw. Google Voice works just fine with Gizmo5 over SIP. It looks pretty easy to set up, and by all appearances is totally free.

Re:Buy now!!! (1)

lidocaineus (661282) | more than 4 years ago | (#29279643)

Lame. The point of SIP is open connectivity and/or choice of providers. Why should I beholden to one provider to access GV? That and if you decide to go whole-hog with SIP, you can gain all the functionality of GV without... using Google.

Re:Buy now!!! (4, Interesting)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273257)

I realize they provide only related (but similar) service, but Vonage is now like $30/mo (after taxes) and you can call anywhere in the world for free. I have friends in India who are dropping their local land lines in exchange for an American Vonage account so they can make cheap calls within their own neighborhood. That's pretty wild :) The telecomm revolution is underway kids. Next up, cable.

Re:Von-what? (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29276955)

I just check the Vonage web site. You can't call anywhere in the world for free. Maybe you mean other Vonage customers.
But, why would you pay $20 to $70 per month for a limited number of minutes rather than using a SIP phone (hard or soft) and doing the same for free; maybe using some SIP gateway service for call-in and call-out?

Re:Von-what? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29277235)

Okay, so it's 60 countries for the $24.99/mo plan, not technically anywhere in the world.

Here's the list:

Andorra Argentina Australia Austria Bahamas* Bahrain Belgium Brazil Brunei* Bulgaria Canada* Chile China* Colombia Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dominican Republic Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Guadeloupe Guam* Hong Kong* Hungary Iceland India* Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Latvia Luxembourg Macedonia, Republic of Macau* Malaysia* Malta Mexico Monaco Netherlands New Zealand Norway Peru Poland Portugal Puerto Rico* Romania Russia Saipan* San Marino* Singapore* Slovakia Slovenia South Africa South Korea Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand* Turkey United Kingdom United States* U.S. Virgin Islands* Venezuela Zambia

Re:Buy now!!! (3, Interesting)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274205)

They aren't the same thing at all. With Google Voice, you still need some kind of phone service to make calls. In fact, one cost effective way to use Google Voice is to combine it with Skype.

It would be nice if Google provided an internet phone service as part of Google Voice. I'm currently looking into using Google Voice in combination with Gizmo5 [gizmovoice.com], which looks very promising. Whether Skype or Gizmo5 is a less expensive pairing for Google Voice depends on your usage patterns - Gizmo5 is cheaper up front, but Skype offers unlimited domestic calling for a set price.

If anyone has experience with this, please share your advice. I have been annoyed by Skype's billing policies and customer service lately, which is what is making me want to switch.

Re:Buy now!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29275363)

If you have one one of the cellphone providers that do the unlimited calling to x numbers you can always set your google voice number up as that number so you can make unlimited outbound calls...

Re:Buy now!!! (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29281499)

I really hope they do open up the protocol. Lets face it , skype is the defacto standard amongst *users* of VOIP, yet people cant use common platforms like asterisk to leaverage stuff like PABX arangements and the like out of it without some *very* hackish solutions. I like SIP and as a SIP developer I sorta have to, but SIPs got a lot of problems, particularly with NAT and Firewalls that prevent it becoming as successful as Skype amongst comodity voip users, outside the ISP supplied voip solutions.

Internet black magic not dead yet (1, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272961)

Yet another free service gets snapped up for billions, in the hopes that it will somehow generate more than the expended value in ad revenue. Either that or some other magical source of cash influx that will not be spent by its users who are used to getting it free and will jump ship if subscription models become mandatory.

It seems a lot of people still believe that when the internet is involved, tried and true business rules and plain old common sense do not apply. Is the black magic of the interwebs not dead yet?

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (4, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273021)

This would be an interesting insight if weren't for the fact it's already been sold before.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (4, Informative)

Alphager (957739) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273061)

Yet another free service gets snapped up for billions, in the hopes that it will somehow generate more than the expended value in ad revenue. Either that or some other magical source of cash influx that will not be spent by its users who are used to getting it free and will jump ship if subscription models become mandatory.

It seems a lot of people still believe that when the internet is involved, tried and true business rules and plain old common sense do not apply. Is the black magic of the interwebs not dead yet?

Last i checked, Skype was ad-free and financed itself through charging for connections to "real" phones and for national phone numbers.
You have no clue what you are writing about.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273111)

Free service?

If you offer anything for free it makes it a free service?

I realize it isn't making money right now, but that doesn't mean there is no revenue from it.

For those that don't know, they charge for any land line type services. i.e. Calls to a phone number and receiving calls through a skype owned phone number.

I'm not saying it is worth that much, as I think google voice has stole much of its thunder, but it certainly doesn't only offer free services.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (4, Informative)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273115)

I pay for SkypeIN and SkypeOut. It's a great deal. Unlimited Skype to Skype and 10,000 minutes per month to and from land lines. I have a real local phone number which displays on peoples caller ID if I so desire. Prices vary by locality, so check. It's about the same yearly as many people pay monthly for their cellular plan.

I have incoming calls redirect to my cellphone and office phone after so many seconds. You can load Skype up on your Windows Mobile, iPhone, and iPod touch with the Apple microphone headphones. While this is in no way a cell phone replacement, it's free minutes if you are near a good WIFI and need to place an outgoing call. There are physical wireless Skype Phones, but the quality is not near the level of a cell phone yet.

You can run Skype on many PC's at the same time and answer on which ever one you are sitting at. I have an ASUS EEE BOX PC at home wall mounted as an IPCCTV server, also running Skype. It's also running on my Laptop at work at the moment. My wife and I often video chat through Skype instead of using our phones. The audio is better quality than what my cellular provider offers.

Hopefully more people will see the benefits of the paid services and Skype will continue.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273639)

Another major benefit is that there are Skype clients for Linux. I have Skype installed "just in case" on both my netbooks. If I can find wifi and have a credit card on me, I can get a phone. Seems like a wacky corner case, but it's not a lot of disk space. But more importantly, it's a bridge between the nerd world, and everyone else :)

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273747)

But the Skype client for Linux is a crippled, ugly, barely works piece of crap. I would not want to rely on it - actually I wouldn't want to ever use it, because it just doesn't work properly.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (1)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29280713)

I never really had any issues with skype (in part because I never used it) until I tried in on Linux. And gee it sucks. 100% CPU when on calls. Hasn't been updated for years (stuck on version 2, without updating to newer audio systems). As a result I'm in the process of moving the organisation I've joined (which uses skype as it's primary conferencing tool) to a more open, linux friendly solution. If it _just worked_ I could look over the proprietary/closed nature of it, but it doesn't, so I'll move away. And bring others with me.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273851)

On S60 too.

Also, Skype is good for those stupid American companies that think they are being nice by providing 1800 numbers and don't realise that it's impossible/difficult/awkward to dial them from anywhere outside the US (or something like that). You can dial them using Skype...quality is mamahuhu, but it does work.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29276737)

On S60 too.

Also, Skype is good for those stupid American companies that think they are being nice by providing 1800 numbers and don't realise that it's impossible/difficult/awkward to dial them from anywhere outside the US (or something like that). You can dial them using Skype...quality is mamahuhu, but it does work.

That difficult? Really? Hardly. Either you are painfully mentally inadequate, or you have never spent any real time dialing 1-800 numbers from outside the United States.

I lived in Germany and Italy for many years, and still never ran into any problems dialing them.

Be careful, your ADD is showing.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#29278905)

Also, Skype is good for those stupid American companies that think they are being nice by providing 1800 numbers and don't realise that it's impossible/difficult/awkward to dial them from anywhere outside the US (or something like that).

From where is it impossible/difficult/awkward to dial 1800 numbers? I just pick up my mobile and dial. I get a little recorded announcement telling me that the call is not free and I will be billed the normal rate to the USA (about US$0.05/minute) and then it connects. Once in a great while I come across one with geographic restrictions but it's very rare. Same goes when I'm traveling in other countries (usually minus the recording).

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29276549)

I use Skype on my iPhone at home all the time. I have not used a computer to place voice Skype calls for nearly three years. My first wireless solution was a DECT handset from Logitech which came with a box that plugged directly into the router. I used this as my primary phone line at home for about a year and a half. Then, I discovered IPEVO and their wifi handset. I am still using it. Just last month IPEVO released a firmware update which cleared up the call quality dramatically.

Now that I have an iPhone 3G S, I often use Skype on it, without having to use a headset or any additional hardware whatsoever. I still use the IPEVO handset at home, but when I'm at a wifi hotspot, I'm Skype all the way.

There is supposed to be a hack that allows you to make Skype calls over 3G on a jailbroken iPhone. I haven't went the jailbreak route yet, but I'm sure I will within the month.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273331)

Yet another free service

TANSTAAFL.

Re:Internet black magic not dead yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29274459)

Skype generates revenue through pre-paid credits for VoIP calls to PSTN phones. The "free" service only applies to IM and Skype to Skype calls. Given that Skype's infrastructure is minimal which keeps fixed costs low and scales by the number of people who use it and the quality of Internet bandwidth publicly available I'd say there is a huge upside for earnings. Skype has never depended on ad revenue, your analogy which eludes to deals like MySpace are irrelevant.

Skype has no incentive to make subscription mandatory. The value of Skype is in the number of users they have and the greatest way to increase that number is to provide features free of charge. You can argue what the value of Skype is but if it can generate 170 million in quarterly revenue, they are definitely profitable.

Great, more price increases for Skype users now? (1, Offtopic)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29272981)

Just like when eBay purchased Skype they brought in a slew of new price increases and a per-call connection charge in an attempt to win back how ever many billion they paid for it?

I stopped using skype years ago because the quality was never great, not compared to my Cisco 7960G anyway. For a while I was even considering buying dedicated Skype hardware but now I'm very glad I didn't

Re:Great, more price increases for Skype users now (3, Informative)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273431)

I did the same thing, purchasing a Linksys SPA-2200 and connecting it to a Canadian SIP provider (Acanac). That's after purchasing a crappy Skype USB phone. The difference is astounding and it's a dirt cheap, full replacement for a landline. I even use ekiga on a netbook when I wan't a "portable" phone line. And if Acanac ever raised their price, I can easily switch to a different provider and use the same box.

Re:Great, more price increases for Skype users now (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#29279033)

Preach, brother. A Linksys ATA plus a good-quality DECT cordless phone kicks Skype's ass eight ways to Sunday. Cheaper calls, better phone, full programmability, vendor independence, and ten thousand times better audio quality.

eBay sells at a great loss (4, Informative)

dutt (738848) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273091)

The interesting thing about this deal is that eBay actually bought Skype from the founders for 3.1 billion US dollars. They are now selling for 2 billion which makes you think about the huge loss and the extremely bad deal they made in buying in the first place. When eBay bought Skype it was seen by many as the worst IT business deal, ever!

Re:eBay sells at a great loss (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273121)

don't worry i'm sure they made quite a bit of money off Skype while they had it, increased call charges and all.

Re:eBay sells at a great loss (4, Informative)

Deag (250823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273359)

According to the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com], they are selling a 65% stake and are retaining the other 35%. This values it at $2.75 Billion so not as big a loss as originally stated.

Re:eBay sells at a great loss (1)

GeckoAddict (1154537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273541)

When eBay bought Skype it was seen by many as the worst IT business deal, ever!

I don't know about that statement, Time Warner got raped for $164 billion when it merged with AOL and had to write off 99bln of it just two years later

I hope they'll opensource it (2, Interesting)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273157)

As Skype's money seem to be made only on pc-to-phone calls, I hope they'll open their protocol to other clients and just act as a sort of SIP-to-phone platform. If users can connect from other clients, that could be a win.

Re:I hope they'll opensource it (3, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273409)

We already have an open VoIP protocol. Just switch to a provider like Gizmo and use whatever VoIP client you like--Ekiga, Twinkle, Gizmo's own client, whatever.

What Skype needs to do is die. The world doesn't need a closed proprietary phone network.

Re:I hope they'll opensource it (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274077)

Well, you can call others on other phone networks with SkypeOut, and they can call you with SkypeIn, so it's unfair to say they're a closed network.

Re:I hope they'll opensource it (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274777)

You can point a video camera at an LCD screen to record a Blu-ray movie, but that doesn't make it open.

Skype is closed because only they know their protocol and can make clients for it.

Re:I hope they'll opensource it (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29281525)

What Skype needs to do is die. The world doesn't need a closed proprietary phone network.

I'd rather they adopt and/or improve SIP. Their client is hands-down the best available for talking to a laptop and having it sound good on both ends with good volumes and no echo. They seem to have the best algorithms guys.

RockMelt integration? (1)

Takatsuki (157642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273281)

"There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch." - Marc Andreessen

Could his big idea be a browser with Skype and Google Wave components built in?

Andreessen gets a tiny slice.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29273441)

Considering how small Andreessen Horowitz fund is compared to the $2 billion price tag, it's incredibly misleading to say Skype is sold to Marc Andreessen. He gets a tiny slice of it, the big private equity firms is where Skype was sold to. And they'll be looking to sell it further.

Ebay Auction Record? (1)

johno.ie (102073) | more than 4 years ago | (#29273455)

I didn't RTFA, but this must surely be a record bid for an auction on Ebay.

Re:Ebay Auction Record? (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 4 years ago | (#29277705)

Sure, but can you imagine the eBay listing fee, commission, and worse - the paypal fees?

Just imagine having 2 billion dollars frozen in your paypal account when the buyer files a dispute.

Sheeeeeeeesh.

Just released a new Linux client (4, Informative)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#29274989)

For those who had all but given up on Skype in Linux, they just released a new Linux client beta version in the last few days or so. Finally there are changes afoot...

Re:Just released a new Linux client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29278189)

Just read on the notes it supports pulse audio.
This has been a show stopper for a long time.
Will have to try it now.

This would have been more impressive ... (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29276561)

if they had actually sold it on E-Bay.

I don't trust a company that won't use their own product.

How exactly does this type of deal work? (1)

sitarlo (792966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29281069)

Did ebay list Skype in an auction? I mean, why wasn't I allowed to bid? Do these deals occur in smoky back rooms across a table filled with brandy glasses and cigar ashes? How does a company like ebay let someone like Andreessen know they have something up for sale? Does Satan have a billion dollar deal brokerage in hell that only the most elite rich get invited to? Somebody, *who knows*, please educate me on this! I took some business courses in school, but I must have been asleep the day deals like this were covered.
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