eBay has agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA, the global Internet communications company, for approximately 2.6 billion US$ in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. According to eBay, the acquisition will strengthen eBay's global marketplace and payments platform, while opening several new lines of business and creating significant new monetization opportunities for the company. The deal also represents a major opportunity for Skype to advance its leadership in Internet voice communications and offer people worldwide new ways to communicate in a global online era. Skype, eBay and PayPal will create an unparalleled ecommerce and communications engine for buyers and sellers around the world.
"Communications is at the heart of ecommerce and community," said Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay. "By combining the two leading ecommerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in Internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the Net."
Founded in 2002 by Niklas ZennstrÃƒÂ¶m and Janus Friis, Skype offers high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world. One of the fastest growing companies on the Internet, Skype already has 54 million registered user names (not necessary users) in 225 countries and territories. Skype is currently adding approximately 150,000 user(s names) a day and has created a thriving ecosystem of products, services, developers, and affiliates. Skype is considered the market leader in virtually all countries in which it does business. In North America alone, Skype has more users and serves more voice minutes than any other Internet voice communications provider.
"Our vision for Skype has always been to build the world's largest communications business and revolutionize the ease with which people can communicate through the Internet," said Niklas ZennstrÃƒÂ¶m, Skype CEO and co-founder. "We can't think of any better platform to fulfill this vision to become the voice of the Internet than with eBay and PayPal."
"We're great admirers of how eBay and PayPal have simplified global ecommerce and payments," said Janus Friis, Skype co-founder and senior vice president, strategy. "Together we feel we can really change the way that people communicate, shop and do business online."
ZennstrÃƒÂ¶m and Friis will remain in their current positions. ZennstrÃƒÂ¶m will report to eBay CEO Whitman and join eBay's senior executive team.
Hmmm... Is it just me or does anyone else share my fear that this will not mean anything good for Skype? I mean the future will show but well... Okay, I will not rant yet.
Cheers ~ Arne