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Google Eyeing EBay's Skype

Something big is afoot between Google and eBay's Skype, like a partnership or outright acquisition. There've been rumblings of a deal now for several weeks. Google's Product Management team has been conspicuous by its absence from the CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas, but that doesn't mean it's working on a Skype deal.

Even so, a Skype acquisition would make perfect sense for Google. The search giant is definitely looking at voiceover IP with its new GTalk VoIP offering, its free 411 service and recent acquisition of GrandCentral, an Internet calling management company. Skype could be integrated into these and other Google offerings like Gmail, iGoogle and Orkut.

EBay, meanwhile, has done nothing with Skype since acquiring it for $3.1 billion in 2005--apart from writing down $1 billion on the transaction. The online auctioneer has no clear synergies with the VoIP provider and is in desperate need of driving performance or unloading the company altogether.

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