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Facebook and Google consider buying or partnering with Skype, report says

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Facebook and Google are each considering partnering with or taking over Skype, which has caused the Luxembourg-based Internet phone service to delay its plans to go public, according to a report.

Skype was planning to issue its initial public offering to the tune of about $100 million, but the company is now putting that plan on pause as two tech giants are independently mulling over getting involved with Skype, according to a Reuters report.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO and co-founder, has spoken privately with his company's leadership about buying Skype, according to Reuters.

Facebook has also pitched Skype on possibly setting up a joint venture, an unnamed source told Reuters.

Google too has spoken with Skype about creating a possible joint venture of some sort, the Reuters report said.

If Skype were to partner with, or be acquired by, either company, the deal to make that happen could be worth as much as $4 billion, the report said. A Skype IPO would likely still follow, but instead of about $100 million, about $1 billion could be raised, Reuters said.

If Facebook or Google were to make a move with Skype, it wouldn't be the first time a big name in the Tech world got involved in the company.

Ebay bought Skype in for $3.13 billion in 2005, before selling 65% of Skype to a group of private investors led by the Silver Lake firm in Menlo Park, Calif., for about $2 billion.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Sally Blue appears via Skype from her home in Lillington, N.C., as she talks with her brother Steve Inman and sister Connie Files at Steve's home in Fontana, Calif., in January. The family members were re-united earlier in January when Sally's daughter spotted a Facebook page posted by Steve seeking his sister, from whom he had been separated for decades. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

 
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