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russjourn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:03 pm    Post subject: What do you think of eBay buying Skype? Reply with quote Back to top

Hi, Russell here from the IP Telephony blog over at ZDNet.

What do you Vonage users think of the news today that eBay is buying Skype? Does that make a difference to you? Also,among those of you who are active eBay buyers and sellers, what do you think?

You can PM me or post publicly.

Thanks
Russ

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dconnor
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Russell, it is always good to hear from you.

Simply stated, when the likes of eBay enters the market, this is a big showing of the power of the Voip industry as a whole.

I wish both corps well, it will be interesting to see just how eBay integrates this into their current line up; bid for minutes anyone? Smile

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think it is likely to be a small plus for Vonage.

Skype customers who would really be better served by Vonage will take a moment to evaluate their position. Those who were with Skype because of its underdog, independent nature will now be able to make an honest comparison based on the features of the respective services.

Additionally, under the auspices of a large US based company like eBay, Skype will have to be more careful about how the service is marketed by either complying with FCC regulations for E911 or somehow limiting the service so that they can not be considered "fully integrated". This may mean crippling the Skype API or establishing licenses so that Skype service could not appear as a dialtone on a standard phone. This may provide additional marketing separation between the two services.

On the financial side the deal establishes a price per customer for Voip users. This will provide more clarity for the coming M&A of the smaller Voip companies and for Vonage's IPO.

I think the deal is great for Skype because eBay already has a huge pool of customers that should increase Skype's user base. These users are already comfortable doing business over the Internet so they may adapt very quickly to using Internet based phone service.

Finally, it is important to the industry as a whole that Skype does not fail at this time. Although they expect $60 million in revenue this year it is not expected to turn a profit. Having deeper pockets to allow it to progress on its path to profitability at a scale that will allow it to compete with both the ILECs and the Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Voip offerings provides an important balance in the industry and will encourage innovation in other areas.

I personally think eBay's acquisition of Skype is likely to be targeted less for the actual service and users and more as a foothold into Voip interconnection. Everyone knows that peering between services, and not via the PSTN, is going to have to happen. EBay may very well be attempting to leverage their existing transaction capability to start serving as the mediation point between Voip providers. This is likely to be a lucrative position to be in once all of the major IM players get their Voip offerings up and running. It is however interesting that eBay would have acquired Skype for this purpose rather than a standards based (SIP) carrier. But this may actually be an advantage as they may be the only party capable of permitting peering with Skype's vast user community.

What Vonage users need to be asking at this point is, "How do I dial an @ sign?"

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kamnet
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not sure what the point of buying Skype is, though. Everything that Ebay has bought sofar (paypal, half.com, shopping.com, epinions etc) has a way to be integrated back into Ebay's system that benefits everybody. I just don't see where a Voip network fits into that.

It would have made more sense if Yahoo, MSN or even Google had bought 'em.
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