Speculation has been rife that Luxembourg based VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) icon Skype was up for grabs. With a significant price tag, the rumor mill was in full swing as to which of the big players, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, would scoop the pool by flashing the size of their wallet.
The dark horse in the race was E-Bay, and obviously, its desire to buy into the VOIP market through acquisition was stronger than all the other players. The deal, believed to be worth an initial $2.6 billion, could potentially end up costing the online retailer $4.1 billion if Skype achieves expectations.
So why has an online retailer chosen to enter the online communications market with such gusto?
Well beyond some basic expansion strategies, there is a much bigger picture in the EBay strategic focus. Initially, Skype has approximately 54 million registered users world wide, but the real value is in the integration of all their services. If you add Skype’s voice and messaging services, to EBay’s existing online marketplace and Paypal payment system, the company believes they have created an extremely powerful environment for business on the Net.
So then, what’s happening for the other player’s in this game: well Google has its Google Talk tool – which is receiving mixed reviews, Yahoo! has rushed into the purchase of VOIP provider Dialpad Communications Inc. and Microsoft has secured Teleo – Skype’s main rival.
Do you get the feeling VOIP is the next big thing!!!