This excerpt taken from the EBAY 10-K filed Feb 17, 2010.
Acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic investments could result in operating difficulties, dilution, and other harmful consequences.
We have acquired a number of businesses in the past, including, most recently, Gmarket in Korea, Bill Me Later in the United States and Den Blå Avis and BilBasen, classified businesses in Denmark. In November 2009, we completed the sale of Skype to an entity (Buyer) owned and organized by an investor group and received, among other things, an equity stake of approximately 30% of the outstanding capital stock of the Buyer. We expect to continue to evaluate and consider a wide array of potential strategic transactions, including business combinations, acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, technologies, services, products and other assets and strategic investments. At any given time we may be engaged in discussions or negotiations with respect to one or more of these types of transactions. Any of these transactions could be material to our financial condition and results of operations. The process of integrating any acquired business may create unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures and is itself risky. The areas where we may face difficulties include:
Moreover, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of any or all of our acquisitions, or may not realize them in the time frame expected. Future acquisitions or mergers may require us to issue additional equity securities, spend our cash, or incur debt, liabilities, amortization expenses related to intangible assets or write-offs of goodwill, which could adversely affect our results of operations and dilute the economic and voting rights of our stockholders.
In addition, we have made certain investments, including through joint ventures, in which we have a minority equity interest and lack management and operational control. These investments may involve risks. For
example, the controlling joint venture partner in a joint venture investment may have business interests, strategies or goals that are inconsistent with ours, and business decisions or other actions or omissions of the controlling joint venture partner or the joint venture company may result in harm to our reputation or adversely affect the value of our investment in the joint venture.