This is old news from Monday 08/29 but significant. Cisco already has Webex and has been struggling for quite sometime to build a consumer brand around their collaborative products. Are we thinking about a Cisco Skype a la FexEx Kinko's ?
Cisco is reported to be interested in acquiring VoIP firm Skype, according to a TechCrunch report that cites unnamed sources. The article notes that, since Skype recently filed for an IPO that is believed to be aimed at generating a valuation of around US$5 billion, Cisco would be digging deep into its pockets. TechCrunch claims Google was also rumoured to be interested in buying Skype, “but antitrust concerns may have persuaded them not to make an actual offer.”
Skype was founded in August 2003 and acquired by eBay for US$1.9 billion in cash two years later. It currently has 560 million registered users and about 124 million of them are active on a monthly basis, while about 8.1 million of them are monthly paying users. For the first six months of 2010, Skype reported revenue of US$406 million, and net income of US$13.2 million. It has recently embarked on a major charm offensive with mobile operators in an effort to move into this space. GigaOm notes that if Cisco does buy Skype, it would be the first time the router and switch maker would enter the world of services. “An entry into services would put the company in competition with many of its customers, especially the telephone and cable companies,” notes a GigaOm posting.