Ouch. The Times Online ran a story on how eBay isn’t all too happy with their multi-billion purchase.
Aaron Kessler, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, the US investment bank, said: “The problem for them has always been trying to get their 200 million users to pay for services. They haven’t really figured out a way to monetise their clients – they haven’t introduced new services such as search engines.”
To be honest I am a bit surprised. When the deal was first announced I had some difficulty understanding the reasons for the purchase, since it didn’t make much sense to me. But then again, if I could figure out such things I’d be a dot-com billionaire jetting around the world in my private jet, rather than a little tech lawyer with a little blog. So, naturally, I assumed the powers that be at eBay did have in mind a grand plan, either to monetize Skype in some really cool way that, perhaps, would also tie into their existing biz and result in some really very cool new business or killer feature, even if the Skype service itself didn’t generate the bucks. Sadly that doesn’t appear to be the case – or at least the case at present.
Perhaps what surprises me most, however, is that they’ve come out publicly to express their regret. I don’t recall many companies (particularly in the tech industry) that have done so. To be honest its also unclear to me why they would say so publicly – at least in the way they’ve done so. Can’t imagine it would really be a heck of a morale booster for the remaining folks at Skype. And surely there’s a way to make such popular technology spin off a little more cash. I remember thinking of a few things that I thought they would probably do (and how much I would expect to pay for them) but which never seemed to happen. For good reason, I imagine.
Anyway, I’m sure they’ll figure out something to do with it, being the resourceful Canadians they are…