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Friday, June 10, 2005

Skype Buyout: It'll Happen

Someone rumors that Yahoo is in talks to buy Skype. Om Malik picks up the story and suggests pros and cons. Russell Shaw argues that it definitely isn't going to happen, because the price tag will probably be too hefty and SBC "wouldn't tolerate Yahoo getting within four parsecs of Skype."

Does SBC really tell Yahoo what to do? Do "stable - if not prestigious" (in Shaw's words) pre-existing relationships determine long-term corporate strategy for companies like Yahoo? I don't see why they'd accept having that millstone around their neck when they're a company of similar size and clout, with a healthy stock price (which incidentally can be used as currency in buyouts of seemingly "overvalued" companies -- if your own stock is overvalued, that'll negate the "overvaluation" problem).

Skype appears to be one of those viral Hotmail-like growth stories that could (repeat, could) really take off. When you start getting international clients asking you if you'd rather chat by Skype, it's worth paying attention. This thing could catch on. For Google and Yahoo, in particular, leadership in this category could be a major strategic advantage.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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