eBay announced plans to split from Skype with a 2010 IPO for the popular internet phone service.
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Since it purchased Skype four years ago for $2.6 billion, eBay has long mulled what exactly to do with a product eBay CEO John Donahoe claimed had “uncertain synergies” with other parts of the company portfolio.
Donahoe reiterated as much in a statement:
Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum. But it’s clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal. We believe operating Skype as a stand-alone publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential. This will give Skype the focus and resources required to continue its growth and effectively compete in online voice and video communications.
The exact timing of the IPO will depend on market decisions, according to eBay.
The news of the IPO comes hot on the heels of a report that Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis were looking to buy back the Internet calling service, as reported on I4U.
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Skype also recently released a popular iPhone application that has been downloaded more than 2 million times, making it the number one free app in many countries, including the US, according to the Skype blog.