To Buy Skype or Not to Buy Skype ...

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-10-02 Print this article Print


IDC analyst Irene Berlinsky said Skype and Facebook have the same goal of becoming accessible from any device, anywhere, anytime, adding that Facebook clearly needs a robust calling option to compete with Google, which also wants to become the "be-all, end-all of consumer communications."

Google offers VOIP calling capabilities in Gmail via Google Voice, its phone management application, in addition to voice and video chat capabilities.

Berlinksy agreed with Ray that Facebook needn't buy Skype to gain this capability.

She noted that a simple integration with Skype, such as the one AllThingsDigital unearthed, may be enough for this to happen without going through the hassles and headaches of an acquisition.

Gartner Research's Ray Valdes said the hypothetical combination of Facebook and Skype makes a lot of sense, except for the high price tag it would entail.

Privately held Facebook, valued at $33 billion, might have to pay $7 billion in stock for the company, which has seen nasty legal battles for the right to own and manage the assets.

"The battle for the social Web is shaping up to be a conflict among giants and would-be giants," Valdes told eWEEK. "If Facebook is to stay at the top of the heap, it needs to bulk up, and buying or merging with Skype would make a lot of sense."

Valdes, like Berlinsky, found a Google hook in all of this speculation. "If Google wants to topple Facebook, then it too would have to make a sizable investment-such as buying Twitter," Valdes said.

Ah, but that's a whole other rumor, one rekindled by Google CEO Eric Schmidt Sept. 28 at TechCrunch Disrupt when he fawned over Twitter's advertising revenue potential.  


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