Although Skype has been devalued since eBay purchased it Skype does have brand name recognition and has become a mainstream videoconferencing tool though the help of Oprah who uses it on her television show and her current A New Earth web cast series.
So I checked my RSS feeds and found a number of posts from the last two days to try to substantiate the rumors. Here's a sampling of the discussion:
- Google/Skype Acquisition or Partnership Imminent? from TechCrunch by Michael Arrington
"Something big is brewing between Google and Ebay’s Skype, we’ve heard from multiple sources. Actually, for weeks now there have been low level rumors of the two companies talking, but nailing down any details was difficult. New information, however, suggests that they are in current talks and that a partnership or outright acquisition may be announced in the near future.
Skype, acquired in late 2005 for $3.1 billion, has been a financial albatross around Ebay’s neck. eBay removed Skype co-founder and CEO Niklas Zennstrom in October 2007, reportedly due to frustration at the financial performance of Skype. Ebay also negotiated down the huge earnout due to Skype stockholders and took a $936 million one-time loss around the transaction. It’s clear that eBay wants to either unload Skype, or significantly drive performance.
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."
- eBay Selling Skype to Google? Let Us Pray* from Silicon Alley Insider by Henry Blodget
"As we've argued here ad nauseum, eBay (EBAY) has no reason to own Skype and every reason to sell it. Skype, meanwhile, would fit nicely within the communications platforms of Google, Microsoft (MSFT), or Yahoo (YHOO).
With its strength in mail, Yahoo would be the best fit. Alas, Yahoo can't afford Skype anymore (except by using Microsoft-bid-inflated stock, which, for obvious reasons, eBay would probably be unwilling to take). Microsoft has its hands full with Yahoo, although one imagines that it could find room to at least take a peek at this one. And that leaves Google...
... Once integrated with Gmail, contacs, etc., Skype would give Google the most complete all around communications platform on the web. Google's global dominance, meanwhile, would provide an awesome distribution platform for Skype. Sounds like a match made in heaven. (Unlike eBay-Skype, which has always been a match made in delusion)."
- eBay's power sell: Skype to Google? from c|net news.com"There was very little detail to the rumors, except that Google's "core team" for voice operations is reported to be suspiciously absent from this week's CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas. So at this point, it seems to be Valley gossip at its finest...
... But a Google-owned Skype would make a whole lot of sense. Google already operates a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service through its Google Talk messaging client and purchased communication management start-up GrandCentral last year. With its open-source initiatives like Android for mobile phones (especially considering Skype's vocal desire to make a splash in the mobile market) and OpenSocial for social networks, Google would be in a much more ideal position than eBay to turn Skype into a "hackable," developer-friendly product."
- If Google Acquired Skype… from CyberNet Technology News by Ashley
"What does this mean for Google? Well, we already know that they have big plans for voice communication. They already offer GOOG-411 for free which we know is used for their speech-to-text model, and then they acquired GrandCentral back in June last year. Clearly Google is interested in voice and Skype could help them do big things. Our other thought was that they could integrate Skype into Google Talk... A Google acquisition of Skype makes a lot of sense and we’re thinking Skype would love to be under new leadership with a company who could devote the time and resources to make them profitable."
- Google Rumors Re Skype: Maybe Josh Found the Agreement from Skype Journal by Jim Courtney
"TechCrunch today posted a story speculating on some new arrangement between Google and Skype, even going so far as to suggest that Google may acquire Skype. Having been involved at a senior executive level in the re-org of a NASDAQ-listed company several years ago, I would suspect a new CEO should be looking at any contracts, agreements, press releases and other commitments. etc. sitting around in filing cabinet drawers, etc.
So here's an outstanding, previously announced agreement that maybe Josh has uncovered with the result that Skype, eBay and Google are finally looking to execute on it."
- Reading Techmeme Outloud from A VC by
"Google Might Take Skype Off Of eBay's Hands - Awesome news, if true. Skype is a fantastic property owned by the wrong company. I've said that since the news of the eBay purchase first came out. Skype has languished under eBay's ownership. I can imagine all kinds of great things Google (which I own) can do with Skype."