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Swedish founder keen on Skype buyback

TT/The Local · 12 Apr 2009, 11:05

Published: 12 Apr 2009 11:05 GMT+02:00

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Zennström and Friis burst to prominence and wealth when they sold their creation, Skype, to US online auction website Ebay for $2.6 billion in 2005.

The pair are now interested in buying back the firm, and according to a report in the New York Times, Ebay is willing to do a deal.

According to the newspaper, Ebay has set a price tag of at least $1.7 billion for Skype.

The number of users on Skype has exploded since Ebay's purchase in 2005, from 53 million to 405 million. But despite the increase revenues were a meagre $145 million in the final quarter of 2008.

The firm has struggled to get users to pay for add- on services and most use only the free PC to PC calls and chat function.

Story continues below…

Ebay CEO John Donahoe has given several indications that he is prepared to do business over Skype. The newspaper could not however confirm whether Ebay had conducted any direct negotiations with the Scandinavian partners.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:53 April 12, 2009 by shpongle
He looks like the SD party leader

interesting change though. I use skype quite often myself
09:54 April 13, 2009 by summer
it is the right time both investment and business analyst of skype start to think different in monetizing these pc to pc calls and chat function to boast revenue. it can be done just that these people have not really think well.

There are many ways to achieve a successful investment which is thinking different. There is a way to failure which is thinking in an old fashion way.
18:23 April 13, 2009 by Anmiga
You're forgetting the fact that if Skype starts charging money for PC to PC calls, people (as myself) will just start using Windows Live Messenger for that purpose instead. And no internet-message-service that has any plans of staying in business will charge for text based chatting. It's suicide.
21:21 April 13, 2009 by summer
Hi Anmiga,

This can be done without billing customers.There are ways to monetize this without charging the customers.

l do not want to go into details about this. But it can be done.
21:51 April 13, 2009 by shpongle

hardly a business secret
23:31 April 13, 2009 by anv
same thing and FREE

23:35 April 13, 2009 by Anmiga
Very true. Didn't even think about that skype doesn't have any ads. If ads meant that I could continue to call my family for free I would welcome them.
15:04 April 14, 2009 by Gower76
The Ebay execs behind the purchase of Skype should be fired. To have paid so much without having any clear idea of how to monetise the service was sheer incompetence and hubris.

The most famous Sweden-related internet flop of all, Boo.com, blew $135m. If this buyback goes through, Skype will have lost Ebay over $900m.

Fair play to Zennström though.
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