Buying the popular VoIP application Skype for $ 2.6 billion in 2005, eBay was engaged in a lawsuit with Skype’s former owner Joltid concerning the interpersonal communication technology of the application some time ago. Prior to this incident, one day after the company announced it liberated StumbleUpon, it also announced that it separated Skype entirely from its organization and that it would offer it to public in the first half of 2010.
Upon these developments, the acquisition on Skype took place last night and confirmed with a press release. eBay sold 65% stake of Skype, at valuation of $2.75 billion, to a group under the leadership of Silver Lake Partners including investment companies Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. eBay kept approximately 35% of Skype stakes to itself. Related press release states that eBay expects 1.9 billion dollars in cash from this sale.
eBay had talked to Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis previously, and it was then speculated that the company could not reach an agreement on the price. eBay had contacted with Google too, but the search engine giant stepped back considering the ongoing trial and on grounds that it did not want to have problems with operators for Android mobile operating system. After we heard the news that Marc Andreessen would step into the browser market again with a strong team, it was a surprise that he took a step for Skype. It may be useful to add that Marc Andreessen is one of the partners of Andreessen Horowitz fund.
Concerning the issue, Skype president Josh Silverman said that the sale would be the beginning of a more ambitious period for Skype. The majority of the subscribers of Skype is free members, and the company has increased the number of its subscribers 53 million to around 480 million in 4 years. Let’s wait and see what kind of expansions this change will trigger in the market, and what developments it could bring.