Online auction site eBay has announced that it plans to separate from Skype, intending to establish the international voice-over-IP (VoIP) provider as a stand alone publicly traded company. The plan will commence with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) due to be completed in the first half of 2010, although market conditions will determine the specific timing of the sale. eBay president and CEO, John Donahue, said, ‘This will give Skype the focus and resources required to continue its growth and effectively compete in online voice and video communications.’ eBay bought Skype in 2005 for USD2.6 billion, the asset has since been written down to USD1.7 billion.
TeleGeography estimates that Skype generated more than 33 billion minutes of international ‘Skype-to-Skype’ traffic in 2008 – none of which touched the PSTN. There are over 405 million registered Skype users across the globe. The company reported revenues of USD551 million in 2008; a 44% rise from 2007, the company recently announced that it expects revenues to top USD1 billion in 2011.