Rumour: Google to buy Skype

Is eBay looking to sell Skype to Google?
Is eBay looking to sell Skype to Google?

Leading VoIP service Skype goes from strength to strength, with revenues rising by 26 per cent last quarter. Yet despite this success, parent company eBay is rumoured to be looking to offload its cash-cow to none other than Google.

The rumours seem credible when you consider that eBay's latest financial results were pretty poor (revenue down 7 per cent to $2.04bn), well below the market expectations for what is traditionally retail's busiest quarter.

No eBay/Skype synergy

"Even eBay has now admitted that its $2.6bn purchase of Skype in 2005 was too much. With still no logical integration between the telephony service and the auction site, speculation over a potential sale is again intensifying," says Jemima Kiss in The Guardian.

According to The Times, eBay's Chief Executive, John Donahoe, told analysts earlier this month that: "synergies between Skype and the other parts of our portfolio are minimal." He also said that Skype is "a great standalone business".

The Times report mentions US telcos AT&T and Verizon as potential buyers, while Jemima Kiss speculates in The Guardian that: "Google was rumoured to be interested as far back at November 2007, and that would fit with just one of the many pies in which Google has its fingers."

TechRadar has contacted Skype's UK press office for further information on this story, so stay tuned for updates.

Adam Hartley