By now you've heard that eBay hopes to spin off its VoIP solution Skype. While Skype certainly has a future, it's clear that its future has nothing to do with eBay.
eBay has never been pleased with the division's capacity to turn a profit and based on a message to UK sellers this week, eBay is speeding the entire process of ending its support of the product.
"eBay is discontinuing Skype voice and chat buttons in listings as of 10th June 2009 in an effort to remove features with limited buyer and seller usage," according to the formal announcement. eBay sellers are not required to take any action. eBay users will no longer see the Skype voice and chat options new items are listed and they will not be included on the new item page or on your existing listings.
Eliminating Skype entirely is a dramatic departure from the excitement that eBay initially felt. A quote during the acquisition of Skype back in 2005 from then CEO Meg Whitman tells the story; “Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community. By combining the two leading e-commerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the net.” Seemed to makes sense to many, but is now a significant departure from the viewpoint of current eBay President & CEO John Donahoe who was recently said that “it is clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal.”
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