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eBay To Buy Skype For $2.6 Billion

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-voice-communicating dept.

Businesses 298

rfunches writes "It's not a rumour anymore. BBC News online reports that eBay will pay 'half the amount in cash and the other half in stocks to create an unparalleled e-commerce and communications engine'." The $2.6 billion purchase would give eBay access to the VoIP market, of which Skype claims it has 2 million users online at any given time. BBC speculates that eBay will use Skype to allow sellers and bidders to communicate via voice; I have also heard that live auctions a la Sothebys might also be a possibility. Also reported at Wall Street Journal (registration), New York Times."

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298 comments

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Paypal (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536756)

Skype is in for a little surprise if eBay pays with Paypal. Whoops, your account is locked, sorry.

Re:Paypal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536799)

rofl good one haha

Re:Paypal (5, Interesting)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536954)

Hrrmm. would they transfer my skypeout balance to my paypal?

LOL!

It's good to see that hot air still sells, dang this is almost like the heady days 97-98!!

2.6 Billion dollars for what? A client list? A gateway to copper lines?

Sheesh!

Re:Paypal (1, Insightful)

junklight (183583) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537031)

this isn't the dot com bubble though we aren't going to make that mistake again. No - this is a new thing - this is the telecommunications bubble.

Will SKype executables remain multi-plaform? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13537103)

Paypal and eBay tend towards M$ lock-in. A large concern in throwing their hat in with those two would be the risk of marginalizing non-MS platforms.

Also, remember that Skype is not an open protocol. You cannot write your own client should support for your platform be discontinued.

PRESIDENT BUSH FISHING IN NEW ORLEANS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536759)

Proof or STFU nigger lips [photobucket.com]

Re:PRESIDENT BUSH FISHING IN NEW ORLEANS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536807)

Proof that you're even stupider than you appear:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/katrina/recreate.asp [snopes.com]

Re:PRESIDENT BUSH FISHING IN NEW ORLEANS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536859)

Thank you AC, I don't think we would have EVER known that Bush wasn't really bass fishing in post apocalyptic New Orleans without your help!

Re:PRESIDENT BUSH FISHING IN NEW ORLEANS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536901)

I realize you wouldn't have known that. Thats why I replied.

One can never assume that (or anything) with the vast majority of the anti-bush crowds and the propaganda they spew.

Re:PRESIDENT BUSH FISHING IN NEW ORLEANS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536893)

That is a striped sea bass or 'striper' to those of us who fish.

It is not only far too small to keep (In Mass they must be at least 36 inches to keep) but is also a SALT WATER fish.

Now, granted a lot of ocean water flooded the big easy (No, not your mom, New Orleans.) but the subsequent drop in salinity of said water, mixed with the massive oxygen depleting sewage bacteria, would prevent any fish from living is said water.

In closing, STFU.

Possibilities... (1, Funny)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536760)

I have also heard that live auctions a la Sothebys might also be a possibility.

Well, there's a definitive statement for you....

Re:Possibilities... (2, Funny)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536802)

I can just imagine it: Hundreds of toffs winking and waving hankies at microphones as they try to bid on a piece of art they can't see.

I thought we'd got over the dotcom madness?

Re:Possibilities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536903)

*Dotcom* madness?

I can imagine "art" collectors buying works they've never seen if either:

a) The artist is already a "name"
b) The artist has sold something to a "name"

The fact is, the art world is a bunch of sheep which will accept any old nonsense as long as the right person did it, or said they liked it. Anyone brave enough to point out when rubbish works are rubbish gets called "old-fashioned".

In contrast, people were calling BS on dotcom values pretty much from day one. Investors, of course, didn't listen, because they were making such good money. But they can't reasonably claim nobody warned them that that loss-making company wasn't worth what the share price said.

Re:Possibilities... (4, Funny)

HawkinsD (267367) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537028)

Live auctions? Over the phone? And not just over the phone, but over a cheese-laden peer-to-peer VOIP lash-up?

For things worth actual money?

I bid grgle-snrt I bid zzzzffff No, I bid kkkppp No first f-f-f-f-first! twenty eeeehooonnnggg but wait a wawawa twenty-eight pork

Great idea, boys.

At least... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536764)

...now stories that "interesting" about Corp XY going to buy Skype won't gonna make it in between of news that matter that often any more.

Re:At least... (2, Funny)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536791)

Except for the obligatory dupe of this one, of course! ;-)

comments (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536768)

A+++++!1111111 would tlak with agin

Oracle is buying Siebel for $5.8 billion (1)

jamshedji (627090) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537132)

Shows how glacial \. is.

Skype is a dead-end. (5, Insightful)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536770)

Skype is not built on open standards like SIP and remains isolated to its own so-called "Peer to Peer" network. It is to the Gizmo Project [google.com] as AIM is to Jabber.

Furthermore, eBay has a history of poor human rights concerns [internalmemos.com] and owns PayPal, probably the worst on-line payment site ever created [paypalsucks.com] .

I predict more consumer-hostile behavior from eBay and will continue to boycott all of its products.

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (5, Insightful)

Catcher80 (639611) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536881)

PayPal, probably the worst on-line payment site ever created.

As opposed to what? How can you justify this opinion? Worst on-line payment site created, but most used. I can't think of any alternatives, please list some?

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (4, Informative)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536917)

BidPay is one. I'm not saying it's better or worse, I'm just saying it's an alternative. There are others as well. I've used a few of them when purchasing things via Ebay, but I don't remember what most of them were.

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13537085)

You can't think of alternatives? Then it obviously is the worst one ever created. Ok... the same logic suggests it is also the best one ever created.

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (5, Insightful)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536894)

Skype is not built on open standards like SIP and remains isolated to its own so-called "Peer to Peer" network. It is to the Gizmo Project as AIM is to Jabber.

Just because it's proprietary doesn't make it a dead-end. You may as well say that every 'open' project will be huge.

Oh, get real. (-1, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536930)

history of poor human rights concerns

Some silly middle-management tart sending a memo telling people not to talk at their desks might make it a lousy place to work, but it's hardly a "human rights" issue.

I predict more consumer-hostile behavior from eBay and will continue to boycott all of its products.

I'm sure that just breaks their hearts.

Re:Oh, get real. (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537081)

LOL! I love it when the same post gets modded "insightful "and "troll" within five minutes!

-jcr

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (0, Offtopic)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536961)

Hah! Skype is isolated?

YOU are isolated!

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (2, Informative)

Oscaro (153645) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536975)

It is to the Gizmo Project as AIM is to Jabber.

BTW, Gizmo uses open standards, but is not open itself (see ahref=http://www.gizmoproject.com/gizmo-end-user.h tmlrel=url2html-22255 [slashdot.org] http://www.gizmoproject.com/g izmo-end-user.html>).

SIP will (probably) be incorporated into the next gnomeMeeting release.

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (2, Interesting)

Oscaro (153645) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537016)

hm, correct link is
this [gizmoproject.com] .

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536978)

Skype and Ebay can do whatever they want. People will still use skype. Heck, I'll use Skype, just because you're complaining about it!

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536983)

I am so sick of idiots bashing Skype just to advertise 'gizmo'.

I can run Skype. It works fine on Fedora Core 3, Fedora Core 4, FreeBSD, and Slackware.

I can't run gizmo. Why? Because I don't run windows, mac os x, linspire, or debian.

Where is the SIP support for Gizmo? Where can I sign up for it using kphone, linphone, or sjphone?

Let's be realistic here, if you're going to trash something for being "NOT BUILT ON OPEN STANDARDS LIKE SIP AND REMAINS ISOLATED TO IT'S OWN SO-CALLED 'PEER TO PEER NETWORK", shouldn't you be promoting a service that IS open, and not limited to a couple of distros?

Grow up and stop being a shitwit.

Re:Skype is a dead-end. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13537047)

You are just a troll and probably another Google sucker. Move on.

big companies ! (0)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536777)

IS it good that big companies get bigger and smaller incorporations fade into oblivion !!

Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536779)

What is skype, does it run on linux and why should I care?

Re:Hmmm... (1)

brajesh (847246) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536817)

As a metter of fact, it does [skype.com]

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536896)

Only if you're stupid enough to run binaries :-o
  • There's no sourcecode
  • There are no toolkit requirements
  • There's no glibc version listed
Without sourcecode they may as well have not bothered but without telling me what GUI toolkit or glibc version are required; I won't bother.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

brajesh (847246) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536989)

Skype for Linux requires glibc 2.3.3 or greater and Qt 3.2 or greater [skype.com] . ever heard of FAQs.
I am not advocating skype here, but do check your facts before posting.

Except it doesn't bloody work! (1)

Col. Bloodnok (825749) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537056)

At least not on any distro that I've tried it on with this ThinkPad + USB headset.

Unlikely to ever work until it gets proper ALSA support.

Grrrrreat (5, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536781)

Great, so now instead of people emailing me about my Ebay auctions, they can call me at any time and ask, "How does that there Tivo thing work anyway? Can I watch HBO if I don't have cable? Can you explain it to me?"

over $1000/user (5, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536782)

How are they going to earn that back from a "free" VoIP service?

Re:over $1000/user (5, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536803)

You must be new to the Internet -- that doesn't matter.

Re:over $1000/user (1)

sp3tt (856121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536832)

Well... I'd guess with some kind of advertising scheme. Maybe an additional fee to use it to communicate with the other part of the sale.

Oh, and by the way. I love your documentation [utwente.nl] for the Unreal2Engine server query protocol, I wrote a module [i.ext.as] for python using it. :)

Re:over $1000/user (1)

JaseOne (579683) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536834)

Skype + PayPal's announcement about micro payments, can you see the correlation?

Re:over $1000/user (5, Informative)

antiaktiv (848995) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536841)

they haven't bought the users, they've bought the name skype. how many times in the past year have you heard (not read) people using that name, and how great it is? i don't spend a lot of time with computer people, and everywhere it's skype-this, skype-that. 2.6 billion isn't that much for the kind of growth this business will see. last year skype made 7 million dollars. next two years it's projected at 60 and 200 million. 150000 new users daily.

Re:over $1000/user (1)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536888)

Skype...the new Napster. At least after eBay gets done with it.

All hail iTunes...and iChat?

Re:over $1000/user (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536852)

It's quite simple:

1 ringy-dingy
2 ringy-dingy
"Hello, this is eBay calling to tell you about some fantastic purchasing opportunities available exclusively to our Skype customers.

"Yes, sir, I understand that you're eating dinner. No, sir, we do not have a no-call list, as we are not governed by-

"Now, sir, there's no need to be rude. I'll let you get back to dinner.

"... and call you back in five minutes. Every five minutes. Until you die."

Re:over $1000/user (1)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536863)

How are they going to earn that back from a "free" VoIP service?

Especially when Microsoft decides to beef up their voice chat in MSN. I fear that Skype will go the way of ICQ when that happens...

Re:over $1000/user (3, Insightful)

trezor (555230) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536920)

I fear that Skype will go the way of ICQ when that happens...

To be honest ICQ went the way of ICQ when ICQ decided to become a big, fat bloated pig that took half a minute to boot.

And MSN (until recent versions anyway) remained quick and functional. ICQ went down because ICQ went the way of WinAmp 3. No need to blame MS on this.

Re:over $1000/user (2, Interesting)

bheer (633842) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537001)

MSN (after a round with the Preferences dialog) _remains_ quick and functional, and the latest version (7.5) has kickass PC-to-PC voice, so much so that Skype is actually catching up with it's 1.4 Beta. Now factor in PC-to-phone voice from MS' Teleo acquisition, and it's easy to figure out why Skype, after months of "we're in this for the long haul, not to sell out" is finally selling out -- to an _auctions_ company.

Skype is toast. You heard it here first.

Re:over $1000/user (1)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537049)

And MSN (until recent versions anyway) remained quick and functional. ICQ went down because ICQ went the way of WinAmp 3. No need to blame MS on this.

That sounds reasonable, and I'll gladly admit that ICQ made things easier for the competition, but I remain sceptical. ICQ had the network effect on their side, yet people still switched to MSN (back then still Windows Messenger IIRC). Besides, MSN is now just as bloated as ICQ was, yet people still stick to it, even though there are plenty of quick and functional alternatives.

And to get back to the Skype vs MSN issue: most people (at least here in Europe) already use MSN. If they beef up their voice chat, then there'll be no reason anymore for people to install Skype. They already have the network effect on their side.

Re:over $1000/user (5, Informative)

42sd (557362) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536877)

It's only free if you do Skype to Skype calling or call 800 numbers.

It's about 2 cents a minute for outbound calls in the US. This is called SkypeOut.

And in order to get an real phone number, you have to pay for SkypeIn, which looks like it is going to cost about $60 a year, though its still in beta.

So, if you make 500 minutes of calls, its slightly more expensive than the Vonage SoftPhone.

If they made it a flat rate for unlimited calls, I'd buy it in a second.

Re:over $1000/user (2)

pyrros (324803) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537008)

That's what I thought at first, but they claimed they have 2 million users online in any given time, not total. The total is 50-60 million, so that kind of explains things.

More spam calls (5, Insightful)

zrq (794138) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536787)

From the article :
.... eBay is also attracted by the idea of letting its buyers and sellers talk to each other via their computers ...

Personally, I'm not sure that I would want eBay buyers and sellers to contact me by voice. For a start, it means that to buy or sell effectively, you would need to be online a lot of the time.
Plus, once they have your Skype address, it would open up the system to SPAM voice calls pestering you to buy more things that you don't want or need.

Re:More spam calls (4, Insightful)

Brento (26177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536813)

For a start, it means that to buy or sell effectively, you would need to be online a lot of the time.

I've only done around a hundred auctions, but my experience has been that the questions come 18-24 hours before the auction ends. People looking much earlier than that tend to know exactly what they're looking for and don't ask many questions. People looking later than that are grabbing the first thing they see. People in that 18-24 hour time range, though, seem to ask lots of questions trying to figure out whether or not they should bid.

And of course, these people don't even end up winning the auctions. They're the ones who are new to Ebay, don't understand the concept of sniping, think that they're really going to get a Tivo for the $1 opening bid, and even still, they want to ask questions first about the item.

Re:More spam calls (2, Interesting)

Sasquatchtree (626022) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537002)

From the article : .... eBay is also attracted by the idea of letting its buyers and sellers talk to each other via their computers ... This whole time I was really hoping to see what google was going to do with this technology with the rumors around the buyout. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/24/121625 8&from=rss [slashdot.org]

Wow (5, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536789)

Does this mean you'll be able to communicate with eBay and PayPal "customer service" [blazemonger.com] by phone?

Maybe not...

Re:Wow (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537141)

I actually called Paypal support from Sweden. It was quite a experience.

I quickly learnt why you guys over there are so anti everything-support. If that is what is to come even here I'm sure swedes will start having office-shootings soon too.

Here we go again (4, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536793)

Yet another company purchasing another completely unrelated company simply because they feel the need to dump their cash somewhere. In te end, one company always ends up dragging the other down.

Re:Here we go again (2, Funny)

bloodredsun (826017) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536808)

but at least they're paying with a telephone number(2-600-000-000)!

Re:Here we go again (1)

fedorfedor (838521) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536831)

Yet another company purchasing another completely unrelated company simply because they feel the need to dump their cash somewhere. In te end, one company always ends up dragging the other down.

Yup, my first thought was "we're now a floor wax and a dessert topping!"


No comment.

Re:Here we go again (1, Insightful)

caffeinex36 (608768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536924)

Not sure why this is modded insightful when it is a totally brainless comment with no backing.

give us some examples? I'm sure there are some, but what is the reasoning behind it?

in business this is whats called venturing into vertical markets. It's sometimes GOOD for business. Ebay is a good example. Although people may disagree because its cool to hate paypal, but look at ebay and paypal? completely vertical markets, and it works.

Uh, AOL/TW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536970)

Not sure why this is modded insightful when it is a totally brainless comment with no backing.

give us some examples? I'm sure there are some, but what is the reasoning behind it?

AOL/Time Warner is a good place to start

Re:Here we go again (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537048)

Ebay and Paypal makes sense. Paypal allows small sellers to take credit cards. It adds something to Ebay.

You can have occassionally good mergers, but this looks like a complete turkey. Where's the synergy?

Re:Here we go again (3, Interesting)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537068)

Although people may disagree because its cool to hate paypal, but look at ebay and paypal? completely vertical markets,

Not really, as paypal's main reason for existence is paying for online auctions (ie eBay). Sure, paypal has some use beyond that, but you could at least see a link between paypal and ebay.

It's a lot harder to see what Skype has to do with online auctions. What's next, eBay search?
eBay mail(especially as they already have an email like function in my ebay)? ebay news & weather? Maybe it is like others have said and that the link is with PayPal's micropayment system than eBay.

Re:Here we go again (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536944)

That's how companies grow. Well, no, they can expand their core business, but ebay has the online auction market pretty much sewn up. For some reason it's not good enough for shareholders for the company to be turning a profit, they have to be seen to be expanding.

$2.6 BILLION!!!!! (0)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536994)

Cheese and rice... EBAY paid this much money for simple software VoIP. Imagine if they had simply thrown $100 million at the Asterisk [asterisk.org] project with the following criteria:

1) NAT-friendly Windows and MAC VoIP client
2) NOTHING!

Seriously... If you provide clients, Asterisk already has the capability to do EVERYTHING that Skype has. They even have a NAT-friendly IAX [voip-info.org] protocol. They'd just need to develop the clients and then build a large PSTN interface.

The inefficiency in business is astounding. EBAY had money burning a hole in their pocket so their remedy was to remove the money and throw it into the fire.

I'm breathless.

Re:$2.6 BILLION!!!!! (3, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537046)

Yeah, but Skype has a client base... they are buying the customers as much as they are buying the infrastructure

Re:$2.6 BILLION!!!!! (1)

sleeper0 (319432) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537152)

What on earth gives you the impression that a US$2600M purchase of a services company is a technology/software acquisition? I am just as confounded by this purchase as the next guy, but suggesting donating money to fund open source development of similar features satisfies the same goals is silly. If ebay announced they were buying comcast would you post that's silly, if they give me $100 bucks I can show them how to put television on a thick wire too?

potential for social engineering (3, Interesting)

laurensv (601085) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536796)

One of the reasons eBay has is that they can use Skype to let buyers and sellers talk to each other; but my eBay name and Skype name aren't the same. If some contacts buyer/seller through Skype with eBay screenname as Skype name, they're is going to be some potential for social engineering.

Re:potential for social engineering (1)

bluesoul88 (609555) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536854)

Because, you know, there's never any social engineering on eBay before this acquisition. Some of the more elaborate scams I've ever seen have been on eBay; this explains their 24-hour fraud team.

Skype (2, Funny)

Trick Kid (894724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536801)

Clearly eBay should be made to bid for it ;-)

Re:Skype (1, Insightful)

mex666 (643538) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536985)

Clearly eBay should be made to bid for it ;-)

Why was this post moderated as offtopic?
It may have been unfunny, but it was definately topical.

what a stretch (3, Insightful)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536810)

BBC speculates that eBay will use Skype to allow sellers and bidders to communicate via voice;

They can do that already, for free, using any of the IM and VoIP solutions that are out there. eBay didn't have to buy Skype for that. I suspect most sellers just don't want to be bothered, otherwise they'd list an IM address and phone number.

I'm not even sure why Skype is considered so valuable; the technology is commonplace, and VoIP-to-POTS gateways are offered by many companies. And between the Telcos and Microsoft, any competitor is going to be squashed.

Re:what a stretch (5, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536874)

Alright -- first off, Ebay's gotta be out of their mind if they think Skype can somehow help as a "Convergent" technology. It probably can't. Just glance through this -- VoIP auctions combine the best of all worlds: the incomprehensibility of people who don't share a native tongue, the time constraints of a live auction, and the anonymity and uncertainty of the internet.

So why buy skype? Why shell out 1.3 billion bucks for a piece of software, especially one so commonplace as Skype?

Skype is a great piece of software, but no doubt better can be made. But Skype has other things going for it: A) It's got reasonably secure encryption -- unlike practically every other chat and VoIP client out there. B) It's great at getting around firewalls C) As decentralized as it is, it requires minimal resources -- it hits one IP in Denmark and it's on its way. D) It has 40+ million users, of which 3 million are online at any given time, and the numbers are growing.

So skype delivers a lot of regular users at minimal cost. Heck, you don't even need to run adds on the Skype client itself, if you control the help, community and download pages. Controlling the #1 PC-to-PC VoIP client out there gives access to all kinds of non-obvious revenue streams, very few of which have anything to do with auctions.

Online Phone card type thing? (5, Insightful)

pkboy (864629) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536811)

Paypal's Micropayments [shareholder.com] and Skype? Probably convenient for quick overseas calls to POTS lines...

What a shame... (1)

xeon4life (668430) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536816)

Yet another up-and-coming technology bought out by corporate mammoths.

I remember when even eBay was a fledgling company, trying to find it's market.

Don't forget. . . (1)

liquidMONKEY (749280) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536842)

Escrow call services.

This is bad, because: (3, Interesting)

TA (14109) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536864)

With a large US company owning Skype I think we can take for granted that getting SkypeIn sorted out with the telecomm authorities of smaller, European countries will simply not happen. I expect Skype will now grow much more US-oriented than before - I simply can't imagine why Ebay would bother with, or even understand those Euro-centric problems.

Time to start looking seriously at the existing competition, small as it is.

Re:This is bad, because: (1)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536931)

I simply can't imagine why Ebay would bother with, or even understand those Euro-centric problems.

I don't know in what tiny European country you live, but mine has its own ebay [www.ebay.nl] . If they think that that particular market is lucrative enough for them, even though there is plenty [marktplaats.nl] of [autoscout24.nl] competition [speurders.nl] , then I'm sure that they consider the telecom market lucrative enough too.

In short: I wouldn't start worrying just yet :-)

Re:This is bad, because: (2, Informative)

peterzen (8588) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537050)

I've been flirting for a while with switching to Gizmo Project [gizmoproject.com] . Now there's a good reason to do it even if one has to persuade their contacts to make the switch too.

http://www.gizmoproject.com/ [gizmoproject.com] )

Thank You for Killing Skype, eBay (2, Interesting)

Vapor8 (240870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536865)

Great, another useful tool brought down to its knees by a company with a need to buy something 'sexy' without an intelligent business plan. Thank you eBay! Ugh....

Not 2.6 billion, but 4.1 billion. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536878)

"EBay plans initially to pay $1.3 billion in cash and $1.3 billion in stock and to make a further payout of up to $1.5 billion by 2008 or 2009 if financial targets are met, giving the deal a total value of up to $4.1 billion, the source said."

Here, check this out:
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?typ e=technologyNews&summit=&storyid=2005-09-12T081656 Z_01_HO227963_RTRIDST_0_TECH-SKYPE-EBAY-DC.XML [reuters.com]

Skype was already naff.... (2, Insightful)

agulliford (682381) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536885)

... as it is does not use the accepted SIP VOIP standard, nor does it interoperate with other VOIP providers.

Get yourself a real VOIP provider that uses SIP.

What is so special about Skype? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536887)

There are several applications that do the same thing Skype does, have been out longer than Skype. I tried Skype once a few years ago when I heard you could make "free calls from the internet", only to realize it was a misleading statement.. I've been using PC-to-PC calls for awhile with decent quality (better than skype's) but was looking for PC-to-Phone, for free.. now that would be something.

Re:What is so special about Skype? (5, Insightful)

TA (14109) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537023)

There is other software out there. Some can do some of what Skype does, other software can do other parts of what Skype does. But can it do all of it?

- Skype has little or no problems with firewalls. Most workplaces wouldn't be able to use Skype if it wasn't for this.
- It's not only PC-to-PC, which indeed is a dime a dozen. It's also PC-to-phone and even phone-to-PC. You can get your own phone number(s) in some countries, e.g. get yourself a phone number in some other country and your friends there can phone you at local rates instead of international.
- With the latest version and its forwarding feature (still only in the Windows version) it's even phone-to-phone as well.
- Skype's PC-to-phone is cheap. I can go to the other side of the world and phone my mum or anyone at home for close to nothing, with a USB stick w/Skype and an Internet cafe.

There are other applications out there that can do part of what Skype can do, but it's either
- missing some features, or
- not as good PC-to-phone country coverage, or
- more expensive PC-to-phone rates, or
- none or extremely (even more than Skype) limited availability of phone numbers (what Skype calls SkypeIn).
- a smaller user base (which is a self-strengthening point)

In other words, a lot of stuff come together in Skype. The only point against I can think of is the missing interoperability with other software because of the proprietary protocols.

Nuts n' Gum... together at last! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13536897)

What a bizarre combination, auctions and VoIP telephony. I can't but help think that this is part of the current fad of big net companies buying up the small-but-cool app stuff?

I mean you can see where Google's going with their purchases, but Yahoo with Konfabulator and eBay with Skype seem to be pointing in a new direction of desktop application acquisition.

In other news, eBay raises fees 45% (2, Insightful)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536905)

For that kind of cash, eBay could have developed an in-house solution at a fraction of the price. Oh well, time to raise the Buyer's and Seller's rates on eBay, again...

Re:In other news, eBay raises fees 45% (2, Insightful)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536988)

It's Skype's customer base that eBay is after, not it's software.

Re:In other news, eBay raises fees 45% (2, Interesting)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537107)

Perhaps, but eBay could have simply integrated a new Skype-like eBay product on eBay/PayPayl and drawn some of Skype's customers and created new customers. Ideally the simplicity of the integrated product would have drawn Skype's existing customers at a fraction of the cost. Either way, being a cash/stock deal, the out-of-pocket cash price to purchase the customers is only about half of what other /. posters suggest [~$650/user] and reasonable to purchase an existing customer base and eliminate the competition at the same time.

Oh well, if you can't join 'em, buy 'em.

little more than 2.5 (1)

nahnkari (732424) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536939)

Its actually about 4 billion. There is 1.5 billion performance based option as well.

Thanks for the tip! (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536943)

I think I need to buy some puts on E-Bay.

-jcr

Re:Thanks for the tip! (0, Offtopic)

mrbill101 (914266) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536955)

Old news again. Sick io it.

angling for the unknown (3, Insightful)

CousinLarry (640750) | more than 9 years ago | (#13536993)

I think the main parallel to find in comparing the recent tech acquisition spree to that of 1999/2000 is that companies are applying the "buy now figure it out later" synergy strategy again. I think a lot of these companies are seeing a vague future for themselves as desktop application providers in Web X.0 -- but they are scrambling in a land grab on search, voip, mobile...I mean, when Google buys something as fad-ish as dodgeball.com [dodgeball.com] and ebay gets into voip, to me it signals speculation and hedging on these companies' parts. They have no clue what will work and what will not -- and eBay shareholders should be upset that eBay is gambling billions on speculative technologies.

Man I wish I invented Skype...now for my Epiphany (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537004)

The next invention will be a solar powered house and car combo station.

Is eBay the new Google? (2, Interesting)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537019)

Google has been known lately for snatching up many things that have become rather popular.

eBay, for the most part, has stayed under the radar (at least, as far as corporate purchases are concerned.) However, even before they started buying things, they already had their hand in every consumer goods market with the U.S. and every other country (though not directly.)

Then they bought PayPal (what, a year ago?). This transaction made plenty of sense, as PayPal was used to pay for many of the auctions on eBay.

But now that eBay is getting Skype, are we seeing a clever purchase or the beginning of a buy-frenzy? This layman cannot see an overall connection between Skype and eBay/PayPal (aside from being general commerace tools); but that doesn't mean they can't buy Skype. And if they purchase Skype, what might they put their grubby mitts on next?

1997 insanity? (0, Flamebait)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537035)

Myspace, IGN, Skype ... Google worth more than major media companies ...

Sure, we've got a costly war in Iraq, 100+B hurriance, an economy still kicked in the balls from 9/11; what we need now is some CRAZY INTERNET SPECULATION! WOOHOO!

Come on boys and girls, let's create some easily replaceable, shiny trinkets that we can sell these bozos for billions! This will fix the economy!!!!

WoooooOOOOOO!!!!!! YeaaaahhhhhhhhhHHH!
 

A phone company combined with PayPal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13537036)

Just what the world needs. After you get screwed on your phone bill, you get screwed paying your phone bill.

Communications? (1)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537125)

Yeah, because when i think communications that don't suck I think of e-Bay. This from the company that isn't a bank, isn't an auction company, and now isn't a phone company ... or at least that's what the regulators will be told.

E-Bay's use of communications suck all of their products and services are closed products, Skype is no different in that respect, but I see no way that this will improve their buisness. I really can't wait to get back to the closed days of compuserve 195782,1124!

Communication (1)

SecularG (901350) | more than 9 years ago | (#13537172)

Perhaps eBay is hoping to close the communication barrier between seller/buyer. Personally I have never had trouble with buyer/seller, but this may be good for those people who are afraid to buy online because they can not actually talk/see the person.
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