If timing is everything, eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) is off its game.
Yesterday, Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) confirmed in a joint press statement that it's partnering with Skype to offer the rebel Internet telephony service to customers via its 3G data networks.
Owners of Motorola's (NYSE: MOT ) Droid and certain models of Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM ) BlackBerry handsets will be first to benefit from the expanded coverage, providing they're paying for data plans.
Data is the key here. Two weeks ago, Skype said Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) had changed its iPhone software development kit (SDK) to remove restrictions that would allow for voice calls over data networks. AT&T (NYSE: T ) has since said it will allow iPhoners to tap into this new feature as soon as Skype makes it available.
Which brings me back to eBay. In September, the e-auctioneer agreed to sell 65% of the company to an investor group for $1.9 billion, valuing the entire business at $2.75 billion.
Two months later, eBay agreed to drop its stake to 30% as Skype's co-founders -- Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis -- won 14% of the new company in a legal settlement. The co-founders also granted the new Skype unrestricted rights to previously disputed intellectual property, media reports say.
How good do you think these two are looking right now?
To be fair, eBay still has a slice of Skype. And it's hard to blame executives for selling, or settling, when they did. Skype was never core to eBay's business. There were also legitimate questions as to whether Skype would ever be more than just another Vonage (NYSE: VG ) .
As of today, those questions have been answered. You blew it, eBay. Don't compound your mistake by selling the rest of your Skype stake now.
Will Skype come public again as an independent company? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.