I've been reading -- and respecting -- the works of GigaOm's Om Malik for years. I think he lost it yesterday, suggesting that Facebook acquire Skype.

His theory is somewhat sound. Both companies are giants in Web-based connectivity, with more than 500 million registered users apiece. Skype is taking a page out of the Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) playbook, getting its interface into as many devices and websites as possible -- and that presumably includes warming up to Facebook to provide video chat and voice calls between confirmed friends.

However, just because two companies seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly doesn't make it a sandwich. You need bread for that -- and that's something that Facebook doesn't have.

Show me the money
Malik believes that it would take about $7 billion to $7.5 billion to snap up Skype. I actually think it could be less.

Keep in mind that eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) agreed to sell a 65% stake in Skype for $1.9 billion last September, implying a company value of $2.75 billion. Skype has taken forward steps over the past year, but clearly it hasn't more than doubled -- or nearly tripled -- in value.

Telephony is hot. Vonage (NYSE: VG) shares have nearly doubled over the past 12 months, but that's a speculative turnaround situation. Vonage had done nothing but post losses for years before delivering a profit five quarters ago. It hasn't had to look back.

Skype is also not as easy to monetize as one may think. Yes, there were 560 million registered users as of this summer, but only 8.1 million of those are actual paying customers. Through the first six months of this year, revenue climbed 25% to $406.2 million, but earnings clocked in at a mere $13.1 million. In other words, this isn't a sexy high-margin business.

Let's split the difference. Suppose we slap a $5 billion price tag on Skype, even though that may still be a bit generous. It's not as if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can cut a $5 billion check. Some analysts peg Facebook's value at $33 billion, based on recent financing rounds, but that's just a phantom number. Skype investors would have to take Facebook stock, instead of the cold hard cash they could drum up in an IPO. It sounds like a good deal, given Facebook's trajectory -- but it could be a prison sentence when you consider Facebook's reluctance to go public anytime soon.

Telco friend request denied
With Skype in its arsenal, what kind of direction would the Facebook Phone rumor take?

Just last week, Bloomberg was reporting that Facebook already has a smartphone in the works, built on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform and set to launch exclusively through AT&T (NYSE: T) in the latter half of next year.

AT&T is already biting its lip over the Skype and Vonage apps available on Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhones, undercutting its own rates. AT&T rests easy because iPhone owners are already paying steep monthly ransoms, but how will it feel about Facebook gravitating its device owners to make voice calls and video chat through the Skype service it hypothetically owns?

That just won't work.

There may very well be a suitor for Skype before it gets to go public, but it won't be Facebook. It will be a company with deep pockets and the networking -- not social-networking -- leadership to exploit Skype's audience and platform.

Sorry, Malik. My apologies, Facebook. If anyone snatches Skype before it makes its Wall Street debut as a stand-alone company it's going to be Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) -- whether you click the Like button or not.

Does Facebook have everlasting power? Share your thoughts in the comment box below?

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when social networks were an offline endeavor. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, except for Netflix. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.