Rumors are out again that Ebay's albatross. aka Skype, may soon be unloaded to Google. The deal could be valued at as much as $6 billion:
"Skype is booking about $400 million in revenue now, and it's conceivable the company could command 10-times that. *A reader suggests Skype is on track to post $600mm of revenue in 2008. If so, Google might well pay $5-$6 billion.,"writes Henry Bloget at Silicon Alley Insider.
Complaints with Skype isn't anything new. Rumors have been rife for sometime that Ebay had to do something with the P2P VoIP system. The company went from "cool and disruptive to a wildly over-priced acquisition" when it purchased Skype, writes Mark Evans., and took a $1.4 billion writedown on the deal.
While eBay may have come to hate the P2P VoIP system, TechCrunch's Michael Arlington points out that Google has just started to think about dominating the voice space. The company has GTalk, it's own peer-to-peer VoIP system, a free 411 service, and GrandCentral.
Adding Skype to that mix could pull those services together. Certainly pulling together Skype and Gmail are intriguing. The move would give Gmail the broadest reach of any P2P VoIP system today. Skype has done more than a 100 billion VoIP minutes and at any one time there are 10 million simultaneous users on Skype. That's some marketplace for Google's products.
The integration of Gmail and Skype could also help with third-party presence integration. Google uses XMPP in Gmail for presence information so a Skype integration could finally open up the network to sharing presence information with other IM systems.
As for business, Skype for Business could end up being bundled in with Google Apps as a starter. What might be more interesting is a tighter integration between Asterisk, which Gmail works with today, and Skype. I'm thinking native Skype trunking (available through third-parties today), using the Skype client as a client on the Asterisk server, and federating presence between Asterisk servers.