Reports have been indicating that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is in talks with the board of Skype to initialise a purchase of the Internet phone company. Skype as a platform is responsible for 13% of the world’s telephone calls and is available on a vast number of operating systems, including iOS platforms and Android phones/tablets. It was bought by eBay for $2 billion and then sold a few years later, valued at $2.7 billion, although eBay did retain a stake in the company. Since then, signs indicate the company has indeed grown in value. Facebook seems to value the company at somewhere between $3 and $4 billion now.
However, Google have also been reported, according to Reuters, to be interested in purchasing the company. Were Google to purchase Skype, it would surely bolster their Google Talk and Google Video services- and a global rebrand of Skype to fit Google services would be another arrow in the vast quiver of the Internet giant. Facebook are interested in purchasing the company, but it seems Skype are more interested in the idea of a joint venture, something that Google are supposedly interested in.
While Skype refuses to comment on rumour and speculation, it stands potentially as evidence that the latest iteration of Skype, 5.0, offers significant Facebook interaction, with the ability to call anybody from your friend list. So will we see a bidding war for the company in the coming weeks? Any platform as globally recognised and genuinely useful to both the private and public sectors is inevitably going to be a target for acquisition- and Google has a track record for making timely acquisitions.