Can eBay's new focus help restore its glory?


There's no doubt eBay Inc. (EBAY) has been refocusing itself on its core market of e-commerce. Only this past week, eBay announced its intention to unload Skype in an IPO, sell StumbleUpon back to its founders, change and tweak its marketplace Website and buy Korea's Gmarket.

Skype: It's no secret that Skype has been a drain on eBay's resources without giving much in return. While some grand vision saw the marketplace, PayPal and Skype somehow working magically together, that has quickly fizzled away and the exorbitant price paid for the telephony company -- $2.6 billion -- has long since been partially written down. No wonder, then, that investors are happy about the IPO. Other than ridding eBay of Skype, the IPO could give eBay some cash it could use elsewhere. I've seen valuations ranging from $1 to 3 billion, but never liking the Skype model, and despite its recent applications for Apple's iPhone and RIM, I doubt eBay would get that much.