Ma Bell's wake-up call: Deals among Net calling firms may sap big telcos' revenue


Phones are ringing off the hook at businesses that facilitate making calls over the Internet. With the apparent resolution of the spinout of Net calls pioneer Skype several days ago has come frenzied dealmaking in the VoIP -- short for voice over Internet protocol -- space.

First, Google bought startup Gizmo5. Now, as TechCrunch reports, there is a bidding war ongoing for JahJah, a Skype-like service that offered low-cost calling to tens of millions of users of Yahoo's (YHOO) instant messenger service. Numbers thrown around for the deal are a whopping $200 million to $400 million, a significant sum in the current environment.