The big three Internet giants -- eBay, Yahoo, and Google -- were busy this week, each trying to juice up traffic, gain more mindshare, and ultimately get wealthier.
The biggest news, of course, was eBay's announced buyout of VoIP software maker Skype for between $2.6 billion and $4.1 billion. The auction behemoth said the buyout would create "an unparalleled e-commerce and communications engine" for Internet users.
eBay execs also said that Skype would remain a separate operation, but would become more closely aligned with PayPal.
Not everyone was convinced the move was a good one. Some said that eBay had been suckered into paying far too much money for Skype, and some analysts warned that eBay could face big losses because of it.
Yahoo, locked in a death grip with Google, made several big moves this week as well. First, it announced that it was sending a war correspondent on a year-long journey to cover every armed conflict in the world. The veteran correspondent would report back in a multimedia blog. The move may signal a sea change for Yahoo, which up until now has aggregated content, not created it. (For why I believe the move is little more than a move to glorify "war tourism," check out my blog.)
Yahoo also made another move, rolling out a beta of a major upgrade to its email system --- one which looks and works more like an email program like Outlook, rather than like Web-based email.
Finally, Google was at it again, with yet one more innovative new search tool aimed straight at the current Internet sweet spot. It debuted its blog search, which does lightning-fast searches of the blogosphere. While you're there , search for mine.
There was, of course, more as well, and much more coming up. To keep up with the latest, check out Networking Pipeline's News section.
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