eBay Sheds Itself of Skype

eBay has decided to sell Skype to a group of investors for $1.9 billion in cash and a note for a further $125 million.  However, eBay is still keeping a 35% share of the company.

The sale puts Skype’s current value at $2.75 billion. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $3.1 billion. At the time, eBay paid $1.3 billion in cash and $1.3 billion in stock, and later made an additional payout of $530 million to Skype's founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.

According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, the sale doesn't affect the current lawsuit by Skype's founders Zennstrom and Friis against eBay.

The WSJ also had a blog post discussing whether Skype was a financial loss or gain for eBay, and the answer given was: maybe, maybe not.

However, the post did note that the new Skype owners are going to be under tremendous pressure to turn Skype into a revenue generating - i.e., fee-paying -  business. It may not be long before Skype’s 480 million registered users see the end of free phone calls.

What seems to be universally agreed was that eBay’s acquisition of Skype was one of the, if not the most, rued technology-related acquisitions in the past decade.

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