I was quite surprised today to read the headline of the deal between ebay and a private equity about the sale of the majority of skype. But I was even more surprised about the price they achieved, which values skype at $2.75billion. ebay paid including payouts to founders about $3.1bn, but had written down later $900millions.
Obviously ebay could neither find the benefits or integrate skype, nor were they able to grow the business with a clear vision.
This deal could be a real win-win-win. Considering that ebay got a good price, kept a participation to still get an upside and the investors obviously see more value in Skype. At a level of estimated $600 million revenues this year, more than 405 million registered users and generating profits (source spiegel.de: talks about a growth of 25% of benefits to $170 million in the 2nd quarter).
I share the vision of the investors that skype with the increasing penetration of powerful smartphones like Google Android or iphones has a great opportunity to establish itself as the leading VoIP tool for the mobile market as well.
The Telco operator start feeling the pressure and might realize that the iphone is more of a value destroyer than creator (see also Strand Consult latest report “The moment of truth, a portrait of the iphone”)
Mobile data prices are plummeting as you can see in Spain with pay-as-you-go prices of 3ct/MB and e.g. UK/Italy/Austria (basically 3 Three territory) with 15€/mes for 15GB !!!
What do you think, are we getting to a mayor disruption in telecommunications with the shift to VoIP happening acceleratingly fast and mobile operators will one morning just wake up with no high-margin circuit-switched calls left?!
From a consumer and innovation perspective we can only hope so. It will enable us to communicate free with friendss all over the world wherever we are.
[Also the latest beta versions of skype have great collaboration features like sharing the desktop on video calls! try it out]
[just saw that Enrique Dans is commenting on the cost of international calls. "Will be FREE"]