Update: Some financial info related to Skype in terms of 2004 and 2005 revenues. Pretty rapid growth in revenue since 2004 was $7M in revenue and 2005 is projected to be a $60M+ year.
Update: To clarify my position, I don't buy the synergy play in terms of how the deal is valued and/or how financial value is created, but I do believe Skype is a great company. It is scary that the company could have been built that fast.
Update (9/13/05): Good analysis by Nivi on the eBay-Skype deal. As I mentioned before, I am on the same side of the fence that the deal is not about synergies (in the classic business use of the term). One question to ask though is whether there can actually be a VoIP monopoly that cannot be toppled. Consider how fast Skype rose to power. How big are the barriers to entry for this sort of thing? Can additional barriers be built up? What about raising the switching costs off of Skype? The Skype earnout (whether directly or indirectly) surely prices in some of the management team's ability to create more barriers to competitors, but I'm not sure that's the perfect insurance card for eBay. Did we manage to lock up all the smart Estonians in the deal too?
Update (9/13/05): Will Hsu (eBay) has a post on market reactions and movement related to the eBay-Skype deal. He also points me to a PDF that outlines eBay's view on synergies. To be frank, I haven't digested the file, listened to the press conference, etc. I did scan to see that the presentation draws a similarity of the acquisition to the PayPal deal which accelerated revenue by reducing buyer-seller friction. That said, I think that a lot of people were already using PayPal before the eBay deal hit, so the risks associated with acquisition were reduced and synergies could be "proven in" in some sense before a big chunk of change was plopped down. Plus, I think payment is a bit of a different animal, right?
Update (9/13/05): Good Infectious Greed summary of the eBay-Skype it slices, dices, chops thing.
Update (9/13/05): Phil Windley et. al. on eBay-Skype from slightly different angle on identity 2.0.
Update (9/23/05): Fred Wilson weighs in a third time.