Will eBay Hang Up on Skype?

The Financial Times thinks so. The British paper quotes eBay’s CEO John Donahoe as saying the online auction firm will test Skype for “synergies” this year and if those synergies aren’t strong, reassess the division. eBay purchased Skype in 2005 with a potential payout of $4.1 billion. However, last year eBay wrote down the value of the acquisition by $1.4 billion, essentially admitting it overpaid.

Now, under the new leadership, it looks like eBay didn’t merely overpay, but also overreached with the buy. At the time, CEO Meg Whitman prophesied that Skype would allow eBay users to click-to-call during auctions. Why this feature was worth $4.1 billion puzzled the media and analysts alike. Skype is growing, but eBay hasn’t figured out what to do with the growth for the betterment of the company, which probably means that a divestment is the right thing to do.

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