from Shop Talk:

A suitor for Skype?

March 12, 2009

(Refiles to correct Donahoe's first name to John.)

TECH TAIWAN SKYPETo sell Skype, or not to sell Skype. That is the question for eBay, and Wall Street has diverging opinions on whether the San Jose company will or won't unload its Internet telephone service.
    
Skype was acquired under the reign of former CEO Meg Whitman (now a California gubernatorial hopeful) and touted as a nifty way for eBay's millions of sellers and buyers to connect. That reality never materialized, and current CEO John Donahoe has acknowledged that synergies between eBay and Skype are nonexistent.
    
Still, Skype is on a tear, growing at double digits and adding 350,000 global users a day. The five-year-old company logged $551 million in revenue in 2008 -- that number is expected to double by 2011 -- and is now a subject of great speculation by analysts, who wonder whether eBay plans to spin it off, or hold it close. 
                              
Cowan and Co's Jim Friedland, for one, thinks it's for sale. Writing in a note the day after eBay held an analyst presentation to outline the company's three-year plan, Friedland said it appeared "eBay was using the Skype discussion to trigger a bidding war between Google and Microsoft."
       
"We believe the asset would be attractive to both Google and Microsoft to enhance their web-based enterprise application services. In addition, Skype's user base of 405 million, which is particularly strong internationally, would likely strengthen Google's dominant position in the consumer web app market."

YouTube: And the beat no longer goes on — in the UK

March 10, 2009

It’s Day 2 of YouTube versus PRS For Music, the British organization that collects royalties for songwriters and publishers whenever songs are broadcast over the air and the Web or performed in public venues .

Yahoo Big as Ever in Japan

March 10, 2009

Yahoo’s island of strength in Japan looks as impregnable as ever.

In January, Yahoo increased the number of searches performed on its Japanese sites by 13 percent year-over-year, and continued to hold the top spot with a 51.3 percent share of searches conducted in Japan, according to market research firm comScore.

Googlers kiss underwater stock options goodbye

March 7, 2009

No one likes to see their company’s stock drop. But employees and executives at Google were probably not overly distraught to see their stock close Friday at $308.57, down 19 percent since Feb. 9.

Let’s dance: Universal, YouTube talk music site

March 5, 2009

Get ready for Vevo, or whatever YouTube and Universal decide to call their premium online music site.

Yahoo’s Bartz hearts Google maps

March 4, 2009

Carol Bartz famously questioned the loyalty of Yahoo employees who dared leak her internal staff memos to the press.

Google’s Schmidt: Twitter is poor man’s email

March 3, 2009

Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks Twitter’s success is wonderful, but he’s not particularly impressed with the product’s usefulness.***

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In fact, Schmidt deems Twitter and products of its ilk “poor man’s email systems,’ as he told the crowd at the Morgan Stanley Technology conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Google’s meals — magic

February 26, 2009

Google may be tightening its belt amid the recession, but its workers don’t have to worry about losing access to the company’s celebrated food trough.

Checking out the Microsoft retail store

February 13, 2009

When it comes to Microsoft, you can count on one thing: Whatever they do will get plenty of scrutiny in on the wires, in newspapers, and across blogs. Think A-Rod or Brad and Angelina.

Looks like Yahoo’s not buying Tumblr

February 10, 2009

Gawker/Valleywag created a bit of stir on the blogosphere Monday with its report that Yahoo was in talks to buy blogging startup Tumblr for “low to mid-eight figures,” or as much as $50 million.