Google to Buy Skype?

Google to Buy Skype?

Summary: Rumors are out again that Ebay's albatross. aka Skype, may soon be unloaded to Google.

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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.

Topics: Networking, Browser, Collaboration, Google, Telcos, Unified Comms, Social Enterprise

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15 comments
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  • I for one woudl welcome this

    I use Skype on a daily basis. And I have not been real happy with it as a product. If anybody could improve it, it would be Google.
    Stuka
  • RE: Google to Buy Skype?

    Darn, just when I was getting ready to sign up for a skype account to due some phone issues I've been having. I will hold off until I know for sure if Google is going to buy them or not. If they do then I will not sign up or ever download skype. For the sake of internet users everywhere I really hope this doesn't go through.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Signature ?Loverock Davidson? to boycott

      [b]Skype[/b] if [b]Google[/b] buys ?!! See there, a real deal breaker !...

      Henri
      mhenriday
  • Please say it ain't so!!

    I hate one company dominating things, whether it's Mickey soft or GOOG. I hope eBay doesn't cede this ground to GOOG...which already has become a bit big for its britches!!
    Techboy_z
  • This is a logical extension for Android

    EOM
    knowbody
  • RE: Google to Buy Skype?

    I think it's funny when people specifically DON'T choose something simply for the fact that they hate it when one company dominates everything. By making such decisions, they are allowing such corporations to dominate their lives through their own avoidance.

    I choose to live a life of logic and reason, where I choose products based on merit, not merely based on who does or does not make it and whether my use of the product may contribute to world domination. Because, in the end, you have to make a conscious decision to either be Amish, or not to be Amish.
    BIGELLOW
  • Gizmo Project makes more sense

    Gizmo Project would not only be a much cheaper acquisition, but it uses the industry standard SIP protocol. It has has everything that Skype has and more. You can text, audio, video chat and of course call standard landline phones. It has a smaller user base but so what, integration with gmail would immediately make it the #1 VoIP application. Not to mention it is a much slicker application, less CPU intensive, and has better audio imho.
    gwmacosx
    • Excellent point, but then what's the value?

      I love anything that's sounds like a cute Extra Terrestrial (now, I'm starting to date myself), but what I wonder about is what value Gizmo or Skype would bring to Google? It's not the raw technology. Much of that is already there in Gtalk. So isn't the real value here the customer base, which Skype has and Gizmo lacks?
      Dave Greenfield
      • Skype and Gizmo different tech as well

        Gizmo uses traditional point-to-point connections, so is quite a different technology than the distributed P2P techniques used by Skype.

        But you are correct that it is the existing customer base that is key to any acquisition, not the tech. Google obviously has the technical staff to create their own VOIP client, P2P techniques and all. They are already going to need good codecs/vocoders for Android, and using the same ones (hopefully RAND + RF for FLOSS licensed) for desktop VOIP clients makes sense.

        As to those who won't use this if Google owns it -- I for one would be more comfortable if Google owned it as they might just open it up better to third parties (In/Out modules for Asterisk, etc), allowing for FLOSS implementations/etc. Google has more of a history of opening things up than many other Internet companies. They know where their value-add is, and don't try to own everything else.
        russellmcormond
  • Let's hope not

    There is too much concentration of power on the internet already. Google knows everything about everybody that uses their search, gmail, calendar, docs. I don't want to be part of it, and I use Skype regularly. I have the same feeling about Microsoft buying Yahoo. Yahoo mail has long been the best, but I don't want my mails in Microsoft's hands.
    There are lots of other internet mail providers and voip providers, but it will be an enormous hassle to switch everything over.
    jorjitop
  • hard to say

    Hard to say, depends on what they do with it. Skype could definitely use some improvement, but would Google do that?
    CobraA1
  • RE: Google to Buy Skype?

    Fantastic point. Skype becomes an application on Android. Android users gain access to the Skype network.
    Dave Greenfield
  • RE: Google to Buy Skype?

    MS should buy Skype and integrate it into their IM and Outlook offerings... a whole new world of personal connection offerings. Throw in Facebook and MS would control the way many people communicate.

    MS has to be aggressive to combat the Google threat.
    Edesw88
  • RE: Google to Buy Skype?

    before was sold it was the best, and now it became the worst, you get all kind of noise on it . Messenger is better than skype, it clearer and list noise and adv.But for the money cost for skype ? to much ( google talk is better skype just add software will be better than skype ? Bye
    iwancyn
  • It isn't April 1st anymore!

    What is the value of something that fifty companies could duplicate with a few months effort? Exactly.
    3dguru