updated 07:10 pm EDT, Wed May 4, 2011
Skype may see Facebook buyout, Google teamwork
Skype could face one of two major deals based on talk from a pair of sources. Facebook has supposedly considered either a joint venture with the VoIP pioneer or buying it outright, getting serious enough that its founder Mark Zuckerberg has been directly involved. Google has also been considering a joint venture, Reuters said, but wasn't to the point of buying it out.
Either prospective deal was early and could lean in any direction.
Earlier tips had Facebook integrating Skype into its service to make phone calls, which didn't materialize and has been filled in by T-Mobile's Bobsled. Skype did eventually add a Facebook tie-in of its own later on.
Google's reasons for Skype teamwork would be less clear. It already has VoIP, both through Google Talk in Gmail and through Google Voice. Skype could fill in holes such as calling on other parts of the web or else provide expanded voice and video Internet calls on Android. With a looming antitrust investigation, Google might be hesitant to buy Skype outright or make too strong a connection.
None of the involved companies has commented on the rumors.