Facebook and Google fight for the hand of Skype

Skype’s IPO is on hold because both Google and Facebook are trying to do a deal with the voice over IP outfit.

According to Reuters, Facebook and Google are separately considering a tie-up with Skype.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is even thinking of buying the outfit, although it seems more likely that the pair will form a joint venture.

Google is also in early talks for a joint venture.

The reason the IPO is on hold is that any deal with the telco between either outfit could make the company worth $3 billion to $4 billion more. Currently Skype’s IPO is expected to raise about $1 billion.

Skype and Google have refused to say anything about the deal and Facebook’s press office did not respond to a poke.

Skype filed a registration statement to go public last August. However, in October, the new chief executive, Tony Bates, a former senior vice president of Cisco put the eagerly anticipated IPO on hold until the second half of 2011. Skype said that the IPO is still likely to happen then.

Skype will find out how much dosh it can get when there is a flood of public offerings this year, Reuters said.