Monday, September 12, 2005
EBay's acquisition of Skype for up to $4.1 billion is a great illustration of my point on build vs. buy. How much would it cost eBay to build its own P2P voice platform? (hint: WAAAAAAYY less than $4.1B). Meg Whitman's comments are telling - in referring to Skype's tremendous user growth (for a free service) and name recognition, it seems EBay is afraid of losing out on the first-mover advantage or missing out on what could be a tremendous brand. But EBay's got such an embedded - and loyal - base they could roll out a home-grown solution out very quickly. And while Skype's got a bunch of (non-paying) users and flavor-of-the-month hype, they face deep-pocketed competitors and a rapidly-changing technological and regulatory environment. Smells like a bad case of deal fever over at EBay.