When eBay bought Skype last year for a whopping $4.1 billion ($2.6 billion in stock/cash and rest as an earn out) my theory is that the first step in integration of the two companies would be adding a Skype Me feature for all sellers on the eBay system. Well, time to say, told you so.
It seems that eBay is already mash-ing it up Skype in some European countries. Switzerland for example, where, buyers can talk to sellers via Skype, and also with eBay customer service. Didier Durand has posted a lengthy french language post on his blog sent me the heads-up. Thanks DD. Didier says that since eBay’s European headquarters are in Bern, Switzerland the small size of the market, and its multilingual nature (4 national languages), it is often used for experiment like the one made by Ebay.
eBay has confirmed this on its Swiss website. Similar tests are going on in Belgium, Holland, China and Taiwan according to Ute Moritz which works for Ebay in Germany. Similar tests were conducted in Norway as well. It makes sense, especially as eBay starts to move high ticket items like cars, and expensive jewelry, as people would like to talk to each other before closing deals. But Skype calls when selling a phone power adapter… yikes!
I find it interesting that most of the tests are in countries that are not hostile to Skype. I think such a roll-out in the US would have the MSOs and the phone company(s) up in arms. Now if you are like me, then you are asking: this is it for $4.1 billion? There’s got to be more, right.