eBay plans Skype IPO for 2010, splitting companies that never meshed

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eBay says it's planning an initial public offering for Skype's internet phone service, five years after it bought the company for $2.6 billion.

The auction company didn't say how much money it plans to raise in the IPO, which should happen during the first six months of 2010 but could be moved depending on market conditions, eBay said in a statement.

It's a marriage that never quite meshed. By planning this split, both parties may enjoy a post-IPO celebration.

"Operating Skype as a stand-alone pubically traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential," John Donahoe, EBay Chief Executive Officer, said in the statement.

The move will give Skype the ability to grow its voice and video businesses, he said. "Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum."

EBay, based in San Jose, California, owns Skype, PayPal, Shopping.com and Half.com.

"It's clear that Skype has limited synergies with EBay and PayPal," Donahoe said.
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