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Microsoft to buy eBay?

The New York Post created some buzz among those who didn't cut out of town early this (U.S.) holiday weekend by reporting Friday that Microsoft, for several weeks, has been discussing the possible acquisition of online auction site eBay.

msftebay

The Post cites multiple unnamed sources in its story claiming that Microsoft has considered buying eBay and merging it with its MSN portal in an effort to better take on Google.

"Sources indicate that the talks, while still active, have cooled somewhat in the last two weeks as executives considered antitrust issues," the story says, adding that it's unclear what impact news that Yahoo and eBay have joined forces will have on the talks.

Blog community response:

"It's a bold idea, certainly, one that illustrates Microsoft's seriousness about making MSN more than an also-ran. But eBay doesn't need a portal draped on top of it, especially the third-ranked portal, and owning eBay won't save MSN. The entity would have a fighting chance as a stand-alone company, but Microsoft seems determined to keep strangling its Internet division by keeping all its businesses all under the same roof...The most complementary assets Microsoft would gain in such a merger would be PayPal and Skype. Alas, unless the company intends to spin-off eBay's marketplace business, this seems an awfully expensive way to get them."
--Internet Outsider

"Great! Now everything will be properly integrated in an auction-enabled VoIP Desktop Operating System with built in advertising. Maybe Linux can buy Gizmo now."
--Webtown--Jan in Malaysia

"I can't begin to fathom what exactly it could mean to the industry if this were to ever go through. Of course, Skype would certainly be integrated into Windows. That might be alright for a while. I don't really see much integration with eBay except for the mentioned integration with the Live Search. Added exposure for certain. Could also make for interesting integration of both Skype and Ebay into MSN Spaces. One question that comes to mind is how much is eBay worth. They just paid a bucket load for Skype and that was a minor drop in their total value. This would almost certainly be a deal in the billions."
Microsoft to buy eBay? - Monday, May 29, 2006 -

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