The online communication scene could be set for a big shake-up if sources close to Facebook are to be believed. The word on the virtual grape vine is that Facebook is looking into a possible buyout of instant message and video conferencing giant Skype. Apparently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in talks with Skype for some time.
If the deal goes through, it would drastically increase Facebook’s stranglehold over web-based services and would also lead to a change in the features offered by the website - most notably, it would be likely to expand and transform Facebook Chat into a fully-fledged IM client.
The deal is said to be worth $3-4 billion (around £2.4 billion), which is considerably higher than Skype’s delayed IPO. The rumour has been challenged by another source, who claims that instead of a full buyout, the two companies could be looking at a merger.
We’re not sure which is more likely, but Skype is remaining tight-lipped, stating: “As a practical matter, we avoid commenting on rumor [sic] and speculation.” Skype’s no stranger to Facebook, as it is; the latest version allows users to view their Facebook feed and call contacts from their Facebook friend list.
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