EBay's about-face to split its PayPal and marketplace businesses into separate publicly traded companies could make each of them eventual acquisition targets, analysts told CNBC on Tuesday.
Internet pioneer Steve Case told "Squawk Box" he could see one or both of them getting scooped up. The former AOL CEO added that the split, to be completed by the middle of 2015, should have happened years ago. "The payment space has been hyper-competitive. I think a separated PayPal will be more able to focus on that," he said.
Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster speculated on how Alibaba might play a role. "The one element that this really opens up is the concept that Alibaba could purchase the [eBay] marketplace."
Alibaba—which just completed the biggest initial public offering ever at $25 billion—would more likely be after eBay's marketplace distribution in the U.S. instead of PayPal because the Chinese e-commerce giant has its own online payment arm Alipay, said Munster, who covers eBay.