I have heard, Yahoo, Rupert Murdoch, Microsoft, Google are all interested in ponying up a few hundred million possibly a few billion for Skype.
I hereby go on record as saying that it is speculation and innuendo created by the viral masters themselves. Why prove you're worth a billion when everyone just assumes you are, it makes that sale a hell of a lot easier.
Here is my theory, if I am wrong - oh well.
SLA and QOS are the only two words you have to say to yourself when you hear a Skype takeover or sale rumour.
Skype as amazing as it is, can't guarantee a SLA or QOS for business. They are a fringe provider and add no value or intelligence to an otherwise "dumb network" known as the internet.
The internet, as it sits today, is relatively open - meaning the traffic that travels over it is data nothing more, the backbone providers concentrate on delivering the pipe better and faster. The syntax of the messages that travel over that dumb network; however, represent a massive shift in the way we communicate. Today we can use Skype to communicate for no cost anywhere in the world, as a result of this "dumb network". So what happens when the network isn't dumb anymore?
The same guys that give us our mobile and telco service also run this backbone. Do you think they will sit idly by and watch there profits completely dissapear, after sinking billions into building the global network? 3 word's - NOT BLOODY LIKELY.
Skype the technology is amazing, I live, eat and breathe it everyday. It represents a massive opportunity that I am happy to be involved with, and am looking forward to being involved with for a very long time. But to say that anyone other than a Telco., would purchase Skype just doesn't make sense. It is just too risky, there is no guarantee's the network will be "dumb" forever. Telco's, in the end, control the network and whether we like it or not will start controlling the syntax of the messages that travel over their pipes, ultimately they are responsible for and have the control over who gets what service, and as a result are the only ones to benefit from purchasing Skype. Vonage is no different.
I have to go now and send a 10 cent text message from my cell now. (10 cents for 1 kb.. wow, with margin like that it looks like mobile operators have already figured this out :) ) How long before the regular telco's do?