Sk(h)ype

Skype-hype reached a new peak over past seven days, led off by an inning opening salvo by Cringley, who in my opinion was blatantly chasing page views. The rumors must have Rupert Murdoch chortling. “We Report, You Decide,” is his line after all. Netscape’s tenth anniversary should have been a good reason for people to take a deep breath and assess what is what. Skype is not worth $3 billion. Or even $1 billion. This is not to say that Skype isn’t a lovely addition to the telecom world. Or that it is not nice to see incumbents squirm a tad. Or that it works for my lovely Mac. But $3 billion …. come on people! That’s a lot of 2 cent a minute calls, especially when you see that most of us love the free calling features of Skype. The fact that Wharton School of Business writes a piece on the company, and doesn’t even conduct a financial autopsy of the company, tells me that my reservations about business schools are justified. (My friends, call it sour grapes, for I lost out on my chance to get inside the box thinking that would have made me rich!)

“When I first heard the rumor that Rupert Murdoch was trying to buy Skype for $3 Billion, I couldn’t believe that Rupert would risk pissing off the carriers that carry his TV empire’s content,” says David Isenberg. Rupert Murdoch was even more blunt about these Skype-News Corp rumors. “I could make some wild predictions about that,” he said during an earnings conference call. He said that News Corp. made an offer for Skype is a “total invention.” PaidContent reports that Murdoch’s digital designs could lead to a search engine acquisition. Names like InfoSpace are cropping up, Staci says.

“We’ve had conversations with them. They have made it perfectly clear, the founders, that they do not want to sell and we respect that. We’d be very happy to work with them in some way,” Murdoch said. The grand old man of media is being polite – why be blunt, when others can read between the lines. The fact is that they have hired an investment banker, and are entertaining calls, tells me clearly, they want to sell. And now is as good as time as any – Sk(h)ype is at its fever pitch. Or how else can you explain a biggish feature in Vanity Fair, a tome more known for navel gazing, that for its intelligent discourse on telecom and voice-over-the-Internet technologies.

PS: SK(h)ype is an invention of Carlo Longino. Hat-tip

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