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Gartner: VoIP Security Uncertain in EBay/Skype Deal

Skype Technologies SA, the Internet telephony vendor that online auctioneer EBay Inc. plans to buy, is unlikely to offer a business-class system anytime soon, and enterprises should avoid deploying the company's technology, a research firm said Friday.

EBay's $2.6 billion acquisition of Luxembourg-based Skype won't solve the biggest problem in the latter company's voice over Internet protocol service -- security, Gartner Inc. said. While that may change in the future, Gartner has advised businesses to stay away.

"Don't use voice services based on proprietary protocols like Skype while on corporate networks, because of network security issues," the firm said in a research note.

While it's possible that Skype under EBay could release a business-class product, "I don't think that drove what (EBay) did, so I wouldn't look for that overnight," Gartner analyst David Smith said.

Many analysts see Skype's VoIP technology as improving EBay's e-commerce platform by offering shoppers a "click-to-call" option for reaching merchants. While Smith sees the same, he also expects EBay to open up its platform by offering voice services that web developers can integrate into their own applications.

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