eBay, Not Going Down Without a Fight

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eBay, Inc., known not only for revolutionizing the online auction industry but also the way people shop, has purchased Skype – a VoIP service and software provider – for about $ 4 billion.

The implications of this acquisition reach far into the future and could help determine if eBay will be able to defend its online success from other Internet giants.

In the past few weeks the term, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), has been making the rounds as Google, the search engine, introduced GoogleTalk which many speculate is just one step in the direction of establishing itself as a full-fledged online VoIP provider. And shortly following GoogleTalk’s introduction, software giant and parent of the MSN search engine, Microsoft, joined the online communications race with its purchase of Teleo, another VoIP software and service provider. And even Yahoo has acquired its own VoIP company by purchasing Dialpad.

Skype software allows for free PC to PC calls and a premium service allows PC to phone calls for a fee. Skype could allow eBay to offer the increasingly popular advertising service, Pay-Per-Call, as well as heighten the online commerce experience by allowing buyers to communicate with sellers for free, PC to PC, while in the process of purchasing complicated products. In an online world where everything depends on newer, better ways to communicate, Skype offers eBay a way to keep users talking.

Although eBay isn’t a search engine in the traditional sense, it still has to compete like one, especially when part of its main offering is being threatened. Talks of Google’s introduction of a payment system to rival that of PayPal, the very popular online payment system owned and operated by eBay, Inc. probably had eBay racing to find ways to defend its territory. And with the increasing popularity of VoIP combined with PayPal and it’s implications for online communications and support of online advertising endeavors such as Pay-Per-Call, eBay is taking the route that other online giants are taking in order to maintain/further their place at the top of the online food chain: diversifying in order to maintain.

Chris Winfield is the President and Co-founder of 10e20. He has written for various organizations in the past and frequently speaks with the media.

eBay, Not Going Down Without a Fight
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