EBay CEO John Donahoe on Thursday revealed that the online auctioneer would sell Skype if it fails to integrate the voice over IP provider with its other businesses by the end of the year. EBay originally bought Skype with the intention of facilitating communication between buyers and sellers, who would pay a premium for leads generated through Skype phone numbers.
However, three years after paying $2.6 billion for the company, eBay failed to prove that Skype could help its other businesses, and last year was forced to write down its value by $1.4 billion.
Meanwhile, Skype continues to grow nicely on its own. In the first quarter, the VoIP provider added another 33 million registered users, bringing its total to 309 million worldwide subscribers. Although most use the service for free phone calls over the Internet, the addition of paid services connecting Web callers to analog and cell phone users helped increase revenues to $126 million, up 61 percent from Q1 2007. – Read the whole story…