Belated PayPal, Skype partnership recalls eBay’s costly failure to unite them

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PayPal now enables Skype users to send funds to one another while chatting on Skype’s mobile app, but the connection came too late for investors who hoped to see this happen when PayPal and Skype lived under the same roof as subsidiaries of eBay.

eBay paid $2.6 billion in 2005 in hopes that the two-year-old video chat service Skype would power new communications and commerce opportunities for users of its booming online auction site, where PayPal was the favored payment option.

Before that could happen, eBay unloaded Skype to a group of private investors in 2009 for $1.9 billion in the depths of the financial crisis. Microsoft later paid $8.5 billion for Skype, and eBay spun off PayPal in 2015.

Skype is the latest in a series of partnerships PayPal has initiated with other communications platforms including Apple, Slack and Microsoft, PayPal said in a Tuesday blog post.

Skype users in 22 countries can transmit funds to other Skype users with PayPal via the Skype app, which has notched more than 1 billion downloads globally, John Kunze, PayPal’s vice president of global consumer products and Xoom, said in the post.

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