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Skype co-founder admits Ebay was fleeced

Niklas Zennstrom, the co-founder and ex-chief executive of Internet Phone Darling, Skype has publicly (opens in new tab)admitted that... well.... his former employee paid well over the odds to snatch the VoIP company.

Ebay paid USD 2.6 billion (opens in new tab) for Skype back in September 2005 and has only recently has to record a profit, prompting Ebay to cut as much as USD 1.43 billion from its valuation (an Asset Impairment Charge).

Skype is used by around 220 million users (opens in new tab) around the world but according to analyst firm Gartner (opens in new tab), Ebay managed to generate only 80p per subscriber per year, amid a sector which has seen rising competition from the likes of Google, Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo who have rehauled their own Instant Messaging Clients to offer Voice over IP support.

Ebay has tried to integrate Skype in its overall internet strategy and has offered Skype communication options in Ebay and Gumtree.

All is not gloom and doom though for Skype; as companies try to cut communication costs and businesses embrace globalisation, Skype seems bound to rebounce; already 350,000 US Small and Medium (opens in new tab) Businesses have adopted Skype.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.