Lots of potential acquisitions are in the news this morning. First we heard rumors of Six Apart making deals in Japan, and now word on the street is that Cisco (news, site) is prepping to purchase Skype for a pretty penny.
Reportedly, Cisco has made an offer to acquire Skype before they complete their initial public offering process (filed August 9th, 2010). If the rumor pans out to be true, the deal will sport an estimated US$ 5 billion dollar price tag.
Rumors are rumors, but Cisco has been making bold moves as of late. The company attracted a ton of attention with the release of Cisco Quad, a collaboration platform for the enterprise designed to give Microsoft and Google a bit of competition. Following Quad, Cisco kicked out Cius, a tablet poised to rival the iPad, and more interestingly given today's news, a hosted collaboration platform that zeros in on unified communications and collaboration.
Tacking Skype onto their offerings would catapult Cisco into the mass market of video communications, positioning them as both the world's largest Internet calling service and heavy competition for the likes of AT&T and Verizon.
(As a side note, Google has also been tapping into this arena with the release of the new Gmail feature that allows users to call phones from their inbox.)
Looking back, companies dealing with Skype haven't had the best of luck. Last year's drama between the VoIP experts and eBay bore lawsuit after lawsuit, with most of the friction centering around the Joltid-owned peer-to-peer technology underneath Skype.
Hopefully Cisco will have more luck with Skype, which recently revealed that it took US$ 13 million on US$ 406 million in revenues for the first six months of 2010.