cNet reported that eBay will acquire Skype for $2.6B in cash and stock. If certain financial targets are met the total price could reach $4.1B. Skype reportedly has 53 million registered users. At $2.6B eBay is valuing them at about $50 per user.
Many in the industry are breathing a sigh of relief...that eBay was the acquirer. They were afraid that Google or Yahoo, or one of the big telcos would acquire Skype and really turn up the heat. Somehow they feel eBay will not leverage Skype to its fullest potential.
Any big successful acquirer would help accelerate Skype's growth. It is easy to see how Google, Yahoo or Microsoft could leverage Skype. It is less obvious how eBay will. eBay has a massive user base, but are these the type of users that will naturally gravitate to Skype?
The acquisition of Skype will put more hype into VoIP. My guess is that more announcements of acquisitions and new services from the big players will quickly follow. This is good for the industry. Let the fun begin.