Here’s another interesting rumor from TechCrunch, Google may be acquiring Skype from eBay, which has been very vocal about its displeasure with its Skype acquisition and properly monetizing the communcation monster beyond Paypal payments via SkypeOut.
Skype is a burden to eBay, which made some questionable acquisitions over the past few years, including Skype and StumbleUpon, which have spread the company thin, taking away from its main focus as an Internet marketplace. If eBay can unload their $3.1 billion albatros to Google for a cool $4 to $6 billion, then both parties should walk away pleased with such a deal (Skype brings in $400 million or more a year).
Google of course has Google Talk, which is intertwined with GMail and soon probably with various social projects, and has been playing around with voice recognition at Goog-411.
A merging of GMail and Skype would also probably open up Skype chats to GMail tracking (Skype’s IM is one of the cleanest in the industry) which would lead to Google ‘monitoring’ and monetizing our IM conversations like they do with GMail.
Furthermore, couldn’t you imagine Google giving Vonage a run for their money if they try and introduce Skype into the home as a recession proof alternative to traditional landlines or mobile phones?
From TechCrunch :
That doesn’t mean the team is busy working on a partnership or acquisition of Skype instead of attending the conference. But given that we’ve heard from sources close to the deal that something is happening between the companies, it’s not a stretch, either.
What does Skype bring to the table? Scalable technology and a proven platform in the VOIP, VOIP2POTS and P2P Video, to start – 100 billion VOIP minutes have been logged on Skype to date. At any given time there are 10 million simultaneous users on Skype. Skype is the glue that can pull all the nascent Google products together.
Let’s not forget that eBay and Google announced a partnership for working on the Click to Call platform and somehow integrating that into Skype back in 2006. So there could be something to this rumor.