Skype – a massive write-off

The success story of Skype – it’s free, it has over 200m registered users and in 2005 the owners walked away with a cool $2.6bn for their trouble and have been feted as heroes ever since.

But the question that has been doing the rounds in the markets for a while is “was it fools gold”?

“It has seemed relatively clear that Skype has underperformed even modest expectations for the last two years,” said Derek Brown, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald.

And based on today’s write down of $1.48bn and the “elevation” of Niklas Zennstrom, a co-founder of Skype, and chief executive of the division to non-exec Chairman, ebay seems to have formed its’ own view on the question.

Adotas has the story here

Still, the former investors will care even less thanks to eBay paying a onetime $530 million fee to to settle the revenue incentives, which increases Skype’s total acquisition price to $3.1 billion.

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