At this point, I couldn’t really care less who eBay sells Skype to, whether it’s Google — as the current crop of rumours seems to indicate — or Microsoft, or even Dunkin Donuts for that matter (don’t laugh; I can see a business model there). As Fred notes, it has never made any sense as part of eBay, and certainly not $4-billion worth of sense, and it doesn’t make any sense now. Meg Whitman managed to sell that idea to a gullible board desperate for growth of any kind, and instead they got a bag of goodwill the size of Manhattan, which they eventually wrote off.
Skype could have a huge amount of value as part of Google. Maybe even as much as eBay offered in the beginning, but certainly a lot more than it has produced for the auction provider. Google has made it obvious that it wants to move into mobile with Android, it’s financing wireless initiatives — voice calling either on the PC or on a mobile makes sense as a place for Google to go, if only because it could integrate the app not just with Google Talk but with its core search business and its money-spinning keyword ad business. Let’s hope this one actually comes true.