Acquiring minds: Cisco, Google continue to one-up each other

A recessed economy might be a bad time to sell real estate but it appears--at least from the perspective of the companies this space covers--to be a great time to buy and sell companies. The market's so hot that it's getting tough to tell the players apart without a scorecard.

The latest rumors are that Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), a company that's never seen a deal it didn't want to make, is sniffing around Skype which, itself, is in the process of completing an IPO. The deal, as rumored, makes sense for Cisco, either on its own or as a protective scheme for some of its major customers. Adding credence to the possibility is the announcement that Skype has moved its business-centric service from beta and into the market, a play that would seemingly fit with Cisco's product portfolio.

Another reason Cisco might want Skype is to keep up with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which having just launched its own voice service, has lost interest in acquiring the VoIP provider but is becoming competitive across a new space. Speaking of Google, that company continued its buying binge by acquiring SocialDeck, a games developer for smartphone platforms. It marks the fifth acquisition for the Internet search engine behemoth in August.

For more:
- CNET has this story
- and The Register this story
- see this BusinessWeek story
- and this PCWorld story

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