On-line auction company eBay has acquired VoIP company Skype for around USD$2.6billion in cash and stock. PR from Skype. Announcement news from eBay.
I have in fact just started using Skype (ID: sc077y4n6), mainly to talk to parents and other relatives overseas. I do not really approve Skype's P2P-like protocol as it really poke holes on my firewall like there is no tomorrow. With the Windows client that I am using, even though I am telling it to use SOCKS5, it still attempts to connect to super nodes with random ports. Nasty.
As of merging with eBay, currently you can add your Skype ID into your eBay profiles (even though I cannot find it on eBay.au's page). Quoting Meg Whitman from eBay:
Over time, we intend to make voice communications a part of the eBay marketplace -- a huge step forward in making transactions faster and easier, as well as bringing even more interactivity and humanity to the eBay Community.
I can believe that an eBay transaction can be hastened with Skype, when sellers and buyers can communicate easily and work out all the delivery/payment details. What else can eBay do with Skype? I have no idea. I guess that is what makes the difference between a coder and an entrepreneur :)
In a not-so-related news, PalmSource, the maker of once dominante hand held operating system PalmOS, has been acquired by Access, the maker of Net Front browser for merely USD$324million in cash.
That was totally under-valued IMHO, especially in comparison with eBay's acquisition of Skype, a relatively young company with less technology development behind it. However, Skype is in a niche market. VoIP is the new buzz word today, and it has certainly got the market-share of mum & dads trying to make free Internet phone calls.
So does the market share worth more than a mature product and years of technology development?
Or are we going to see another dot com boom on the horizon?