john donahoe

David Gelles

Last week’s announcement by Facebook that it would use PayPal as its payments provider brought together two of the most potent forces on the internet – e-commerce and social networking.

Yet for all the promise each sector holds, the two have been slow to converge. Online shopping is still a generally solitary affair, while social networking has yet to place much emphasis on buying stuff. This may soon change.

Today the chief executive of Ebay, which owns PayPal and is the world’s largest online auctions site, offered new insights into how e-commerce and social networking might work in concert with one another, and what he sees as the next big opportunities for collaboration. Read more

  • Ebay announced plans to spin off Skype, its internet phone service, after talks to sell Skype back to its founders collapsed. Skype, purchased for $3.1bn in 2005, was meant to help buyers and sellers connect on eBay’s core e-commerce site. But there has been no synergy between the companies, and eBay chief executive John Donahoe has faced increasing pressure to sell Skype. The plan was announced one day after eBay sold StumbleUpon back to its founders.
  • Intel said the PC market has bottomed out, but offered few signs that a recovery from recent drastic sales declines was close at hand. Revenues for the three months through March slumped to $7.1bn, or 26 per cent lower than a year before, while net income fell by 55 per cent to $647m.

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David Gelles

At eBay’s analyst day last month, chief executive John Donahoe said he wasn’t going to force synergies between unrelated properties in eBay’s bulging portfolio of companies.

Most observers figured he was just talking about Skype, the VoIP service which Mr Donahoe has taken to calling a “great standalone business.” But if Mr Donahoe isnt quite ready yet to sell Skype, it turns out there are other eBay companies he is willing to part with. Read more