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eBay's Meg Whitman says voice phone calls going to zero cost

During eBay's quarterly earnings analyst call yesterday, eBay CEO Meg Whitman rebutted criticism by a financial analyst that eBay's $4 billion purchase of Skype was too much.Whitman's reasons for this belief center around her perception that the revenues that come as a regult of the Skype acquisition will not come from the phone side but via advertising and transaction fees.

During eBay's quarterly earnings analyst call yesterday, eBay CEO Meg Whitman rebutted criticism by a financial analyst that eBay's $4 billion purchase of Skype was too much.

Whitman's reasons for this belief center around her perception that the revenues that come as a regult of the Skype acquisition will not come from the phone side but via advertising and transaction fees.

"The percentage of users that you can actually charge for (phone services) will actually go down, ... and we understood that when we looked at Skype," Whitman said.

"In the end the price that anyone can provide for voice transmission on the 'Net will trend toward zero," she added.

Whitman said that within the next three to six years, most phone calls would be free- both on Skype and other networks. Then, what she termed the "ecosystem" will be the primary cash cow- um, revenue generator.

"Our belief is that the winner in this space will be those that have the largest ecosystem," said Whitman. "What I mean by that is: the largest number of registered users, the largest number of voice minutes, the largest number of developers who develop the platform, the best product... that users are willing and want to pay for."