FORTUNE -- Yesterday I took issue with eBay's claim that its 2009 Skype sale was a "competitive process with multiple bidders including several financial and strategic buyers." Namely, because I can't find any evidence that strategic buyers actually submitted bids -- in large part due to litigation risks related to Skype's underlying intellectual property. Instead, the only two formal offers came from a pair of private equity consortia: One led by Silver Lake (which won) and one led by Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis (who lost).
A process was launched to divest Skype. Challenges were widely reported in media, including IP litigation and other issues faced by Skype. eBay explored an IPO and a sale of Skype, contacting multiple financial and strategic buyers. In September 2009, after an exhaustive process, eBay sold a majority stake in Skype to an investor group led by private equity firm Silver Lake. Other investors included the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. The deal valued Skype at $2.75 billion, more than the company had paid for Skype in 2005.
Notice the change there? No longer are "strategic buyers" classified as "bidders." Instead, the "strategic buyers" now were just contacted about making a bid. Subtle, but important, difference.
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Carl Icahn and eBay are locked in a contentious war of words. Unfortunately, they could both use an editor.
FORTUNE -- As you're no doubt aware, Carl Icahn set his sights on eBay Inc. (EBAY) late last month, arguing that the online auction company should spin off its PayPal business. eBay quickly demurred, saying that it had previously considered such a fissure but ultimately concluded that the two businesses are better together MOREDan Primack - Mar 3, 2014 1:53 PM ET
eBay CEO John Donahoe has discussed Carl Icahn with peers like Tim Cook and Michael Dell.
FORTUNE -- Carl Icahn wants eBay (EBAY) to spin off its PayPal subsidiary, arguing last month that separate management would improve the growth for both businesses. eBay management disagrees with Icahn, believing that its marketplace and payments businesses work better together than apart.
But there really are two strategic issues here. One is about eBay's future MOREDan Primack - Feb 18, 2014 4:34 PM ET
The billionaire investor's desire to see eBay spin off its online payment network, PayPal, could very well unlock significant shareholder value.
By Cyrus Sanati
FORTUNE -- Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, has been interested in technology lately. Wednesday, he made several TV appearances to reiterate his call for tech giant Apple (AAPL) to engage in a massive $150 billion share buyback. As usual, he demonstrated that he was willing to MOREJan 23, 2014 3:15 PM ET
Activist wants eBay to spin PayPal off into a separate company.
FORTUNE -- Carl Icahn has his sights set on a Silicon Valley giant, and it isn't Apple (AAPL).
eBay Inc. (EBAY) this afternoon announced that Icahn has nominated two of his employees to its board of directors, and submitted a non-binding proposal to spin PayPal out into a separate business.
Icahn earlier this month acquired a 0.82% stake in eBay, as part MOREDan Primack - Jan 22, 2014 4:23 PM ET
Why shouldn't the stuff marketplace buy the places marketplace?
FORTUNE -- eBay CEO John Donahoe today appeared on stage at Fortune BrainstormTech alongside Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, to discuss how the two have become sounding boards for one another. It was a very candid conversation, until Donahoe was asked why eBay hasn't offered to buy Airbnb.
"We can't afford it," Donahoe said.
Really? As of last check, eBay (EBAY) had more than $9 MOREDan Primack - Jul 22, 2013 5:42 PM ET
Why eBay just paid $240 million for a mobile payment start-up.
eBay (EBAY) today announced plans to significantly expand the reach of its PayPal unit, by agreeing to acquire a company that lets users make payments by simply entering their mobile phone number. The $240 million cash deal is for Zong, a Silicon Valley company that raised $27.5 million in venture capital after spinning out of Switzerland's EchoVox in early 2010.
One MOREDan Primack - Jul 7, 2011 11:52 AM ET
Meg Whitman will become the latest Silicon Valley star to draw a paycheck from VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as first reported earlier today by Fortune's Pattie Sellers. But the former eBay boss wasn't always the darling of those based at 2750 Sand Hill Road.
When Whitman ran for governor of California last year on the GOP ticket, Kleiner Perkins partners donated more money to her victorious opponent, Democrat MOREDan Primack - Mar 29, 2011 4:01 PM ET
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