EBay Scoops Up Skype for $2.6 Billion

EBay, the world's largest online auction site, has won the international auction for Skype Technologies. EBay snatched up Skype, the Luxembourg-based voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider whose software enables free phone calls over the Internet, for $2.6 billion in cash and stock earlier today. The two companies said the deal will boost EBay's global auction and electronic payment businesses while opening up new markets for both companies. For instance, the addition of Skype will allow eBay buyers and sellers to talk to each other, share more information and close deals faster. EBay also plans to use Skype to monetize e-commerce communications on a pay-per-call basis. It's easy to see Skype's appeal for eBay. Founded just three years ago, Skype already has 54 million members in 225 countries and territories around the world. Plus, the VoIP provider is adding about 150,000 users per day. Although it generated just $7 million in revenue last year, Skype anticipates producing $60 million in revenue this year and more than $200 million in 2006.

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