Facebook and Google both circling Skype deal

Facebook and Google are separately considering a tie-up with Skype after the VoIP and video conferencing service delayed its initial public offering, according to sources close to the discussions.

Facebook and Google both circling Skype deal

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has taken part in internal discussions about buying Skype, according to one of the sources, while another said Facebook had reached out to Skype about forming a joint venture.

Google has also held early talks for a joint venture with Skype, the second source said. A Skype deal could be valued at $3 billion to $4 billion.

Securing Skype as a partner would expand Facebook’s user base, help it grow in international markets where Skype is popular, and give its half-billion users another reason to remain active and connected to its online community.

Analysts say a tie-up between Facebook and Skype would make more sense than one with Google, which already has a similar service in Google Voice.

Skype and Google declined to comment. Facebook was not immediately available to comment. The information is not public and the sources declined to be named.

With a partnership, Facebook could tack another service onto its ever-expanding menu, a crucial feature given that many mobile devices, including tablets, now come equipped with front-facing cameras.

“This is very synergistic,” said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research. “It puts Facebook two steps ahead of Google because of the number of Skype users.”

“In your social network, you will now have another very compelling service – Skype,” he added.

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