I touched upon it a little at SuperGeekBlog last week when it broke, but there have been rumors flying around lately about Microsoft being in talks with eBay about a potential buyout. While I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there that can think of why this shouldn’t happen, I see 3 reasons why it would make sense for Microsoft.
- Paypal. Microsoft’s Passport services went over like a lead balloon. Integrating paypal payments and ebay feedback into the passport service could lend the added value to Passport to make it worth while to use. Also, the ability to have your Passport/eBay feedback universally available at any website could add a lot of usage to the system.
- MSN Search. Adding eBay/Paypal/Skype functionality might not fix MSN Search, but with only a few minor tweaks, each could be added. Potentially, a boon for MSN search as eBay has a gigantic user base that could be routed into the floundering search engine.
- Skype integration. Many of the tech-heads out there get a little squeamish when you talk about integrating Skype into Windows. Integration into Media Player could make Media Player less of a trojan horse and people might just decide to download it. Add the ability to integrate Skype into Windows and you’ve got an instant welcome addition to the Microsoft family.
Maybe you all think that I’m insane. Maybe I am. I still can’t say that I whole-heartedly believe that this is even a possibility, but it certainly is interesting to talk about. If it becomes a reality, it would be the biggest deal so far in 2006 and I imagine that it would remain the most talked about. As a commenter on my earlier post so kindly pointed out, eBay’s value sits around $48 Billion USD. That would make this deal potentially well over $50 Billion USD.