eBay admits that they may sell (a.k.a dispose) Skype (yeah!)

April 17, 2008

There have been tons of rumors swirling around eBay potentially selling Skype and today, according to the Financial Times (they yellow paper newspaper) John Donahoe said:

“What we’re testing this year are the synergies,” Mr Donahoe told the
Financial Times this week after Ebay reported its latest earnings. “If
the synergies are strong, we’ll keep it in our portfolio. If not, we’ll
reassess it.” That could lead to the disposal of the business, he
indicated.

I think we can save eBay a lot of time on this one and say the synergies from a seller’s/eBay marketplace point of view just aren’t there.  The best way to leverage this puppy is to throw some ads (banner/search) onto the desktop client and at least monetize all those people staring at Skype all day while they enjoy their near-free phone calls.

In the same story, JD said that they have no plans to sell/spin-out PayPal and that it is very attached to the eBay/marketplace business (I agree on this one).  I haven’t had a chance to chat with Scott Devitt, but he’s going to shed a tear on this one as almost everyone of his reports lately has some interesting/compelling reasons to the contrary.

P.S. I worked for a division of a big co. once upon a time where the CEO said they may “shed” it (JD says “dispose”), and once that was out there, the employees scattered like… (insert your favourite vermin: rats, cockroaches, etc.). It wasn’t really a “hey let’s get fired up” kind of an event.

SeekingAlpha Disclosure: long Google!