Can’t anyone make Internet phones pay? [Fortune]

The huge writedown for Skype is not the only disappointment in the Internet telephony world.Skype never emerged as the cash cow eBay had hoped for when it paid a jaw-dropping $2.6 billion to acquire the Internet phone startup in 2005. Now eBay’s announcement Monday that it will write off $1.4 billion in charges related to Skype has analysts and investors questioning whether the Internet phone business – known as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – has any commercial potential at all.Consider: Vonage, the largest independent VoIP company with 2.5 million customers in the United States, and Skype with 220 million subscribers worldwide, have struggled to make money and compete with traditional telcos like AT&T and Verizon. In July, VoIP provider SunRocket announced it was shutting down operations, leaving some 200,000 customers without service. see:

EBay admits overpaying for the Internet phone company Skype

EBay is finally acknowledging that it paid too much for the Internet phone company Skype two years ago.On Monday, eBay, based in San Jose, California, said it was taking a $1.43 billion charge related to the acquisition of Skype. EBay paid $2.6 billion for the rapidly growing service in 2005.

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