eBay To Sell Skype?

Skype’s future as an eBay company is looking increasingly unsure as speculation mounts over its possible sale.

eBay’s chief executive, John Donahoe, has done nothing to ease expectations of a sell-off. Last week he told analysts that "synergies between Skype and the other parts of our portfolio are minimal" and that it is "a great standalone business".

This follows his comments early last year when he said the company would be reassessed and sold if it did not benefit eBay or Skype.

Analysts point to the lack of a logical integration between the telephony service and the auction site.

Names being touted as potential buyers, include Google, which has shown interest in Skype in the past, and US telecoms giants AT&T and Verizon.

eBay purchased Skype for USD $2.6bn purchase of Skype in 2005.

In the auction company’s financial results for the last quarter of 2008, revenue fell 7 per cent to USD $2.04bn, below market expectations.

Skype has seen revenues rise by 26 per cent.

Skype is also said to be preparing new applications for its VoIP software which could be introduced at next month’s Mobile World Congress in Spain.

These are expected to involve a dedicated application for Apple’s iPhone, a similar app for the BlackBerry Storm and via an update to Windows Mobile 6.5 itself.

This month, the company introduced Skype lite, a no-frills client meant for Android-powered devices and the many mobile phones that are capable of running Java applications.

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