Watching the wheels turn as people try to figure out what ePaySkype really means is almost as much fun as the pre-deal guessing game.
David Coursey, eWeek: “For hours, I tried over and again to make sense of the deal, trying to understand what I’d missed. It wasn’t until late in the day that it dawned on me: The reason eBay buying Skype doesn’t make sense is precisely because it makes no sense. None. Nada. Zilch. Summed up in a short sentence, eBay has shown itself to be a company of many dollars and little sense.”
David Kirkpatrick, Fortune: “… this deal is best compared to eBay’s much-smaller purchase last year of a 25% stake in craigslist.com. Craigslist is an online local classified service that is growing wildly; it’s also, like most of Skype’s services, absolutely free. But by affiliating with both services, eBay keeps attractive online communities out of the hands of its competitors, notably Yahoo and Google, and gains access to a growing group of active Internet users whose business value it can, if necessary, figure out later. … I’m suggesting that eBay may see itself as not just an online intermediary between buyers and sellers but a nexus of personal Internet empowerment.”
Nivi: Headline of the day award: “Ebay Buys Six Apart” … “Ebay didn’t need to buy Skype to use it. They could have just become a large customer of Skype. They could have paid Skype a lot of money to become their customer. But they didn’t. They bought Skype. Why? 1. Ebay cannot accept the risk of having a powerful supplier that essentially has a monopoly on VoIP because Skype has a viral product that runs on a closed network with network effects. … 2. Ebay wants to deprive their competitors from buying Skype or using Skype as a supplier.” (via Susan Mernit)
Mark Evans: “Until someone convinces me otherwise, I think this is a high-risk move that will takes a long time to properly assess. At the very least, it’s an ultra-aggresssive development, particularly given eBay’s spending half of its cash reserves to make it happen.” (via Digital Grit)
Also of interest: Light Reading | Jeff Jarvis | Om Malik | Forrester