The great Skype hope

04 October 2007

There is a problem with Skype – but it's not how much money it makes.

Skype is famous enough to have reached the status of a verb, a rare honour. You don't make a Net phone call, you "Skype," just as you once you didn't vacuum a floor, you hoovered.

The tiny problem is that, for all its brand success, Skype isn't yet a giant at all, and certainly not in the league of Google. This might or might not explain why eBay, which coughed up $2.6 billion for the company two years ago, has this week sidelined Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, and owned up to a degree of disappointment at having to take a $1.4 billion charge on the deal.

Poor eBay, such a lovable company too.

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