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Google to acquire Skype from Ebay?

Jason Calacanis (opens in new tab), who sold Weblogs to AOL, has revealed on podcast (opens in new tab) on this week's series (18th February 2008) that Google is seeking to buy Skype for a sum that would leave Ebay with a profit.

Calacanis had direct access to people involved in the transaction business and have been in discussion over a year now.

Ebay paid $2.6 billion for the pioneering VoIP technology company which many considered way too much for an outfit which has yet to turn a profit.

Calacanis did not mention his sources but said that Google was more interested in capturing the estimated 276 million registered Skype users which does not include users of Myspace, with which Skype has a strategic partnership.

Net revenue for Skype in 2007 was around $382 million which equates to roughly 60p a year on each Skype user, a small but growing amount.

Calacanis reckons that Ebay, which has lost its long-serving CEO Meg Whitman, will sell Skype for a profit to Google, giving the search giant a significant foothold in the IM/VoiP market.

Google Talk service only has around 7 million users and Skype may help Google get the upper hand when the first Android mobile phones are launched later this year.

Calacanis also mentioned that Ebay might use Stumbleupon to convince Google to promote Ebay in its organic listings, which are generated by Search Engine position results.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.