Should Google Buy Skype? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
1/27/2009
11:55 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Should Google Buy Skype?

The latest whisperings around the Internet water cooler suggest that Google is eying Skype as a potential acquisition target. Would it be a better corporate overlord than eBay?

The latest whisperings around the Internet water cooler suggest that Google is eying Skype as a potential acquisition target. Would it be a better corporate overlord than eBay?Skype has done well for itself. The company provides VoIP telephony services, and just saw its fourth quarter revenue leap by 26% over the previous quarter.

Its current corporate overseer, eBay, hasn't been doing so well. I never understood why eBay bought Skype in the first place. Reports, however, are casting a ray of light on Skype's potential future.

Word is that Google is interested in taking Skype off eBay's hands. I think this would be a great idea.

Despite the fact that Google has decided to shutter some services, having Skype as part of its Internet-based arsenal of communications weapons could make it a powerful competitor in the market.

Google already lets users communicate and share via a number of different services, such as Blogger, YouTube, Picasa, Gmail, and more. Adding a VoIP client just seems like a natural fit for Google.

Skype already has clients for smartphone platforms, such as Windows Mobile. A Skype thin client in beta form also is available for Google's Android platform via the Android Market. If Google could get its hands on Skype, it could add a native Skype client directly to the Android platform.

On top of that, Skype makes money, as its recent earnings clearly show. Buying an established business that has a growing revenue stream would be a much better idea at this point than for Google engineers to create its own VoIP service.

Neither Google nor Skype has confirmed these reports, but the idea has merit.

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