Monday, September 12, 2005

Over-Skyped

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.

3 comments:

Zach Coelius said...

Couldn't find an email so I'll just put it here. Great blog, I hope you keep it up. In this time where every blowhard and thier sister is telling us what they think it is great to read a perspective that seems to come from hard won expeirence.

Even if you have to create a spamable email account it would be great to have a way to contact you.

Zach Coelius said...

I think you have a good point if the whole purpose of buying skype is what they say it is for. I agree with you that that does not make sense. What does make sense is that paypal is the primary method for paying for skype and that ebay may have seen the beginning of the hockey stick blade on skype's revenue and wanted in. Maybe thats why the deal is for 2 or 4. If it was just like you said and they were buying the tech why would ebay structure the deal with performance targets? I am willing to bet they think skype is going places.

Josh King said...

Thanks for the comments. I've added e-mail to my profile.