Google Buys GrandCentral?

    June 25, 2007

Rumors are spreading that Google acquired GrandCentral, and the company supposedly sold for around $50 million.  The company, by the way, allows its customers to get “One Number…for Life – a number that’s not tied to a phone or a location – but tied to you.”

Again, this is a rumor.  But that concept sounds kind of Google-y, doesn’t it?  After all, the search engine company is already in love with the idea of universal Google Accounts, and it has been known to toy with phone-related services.  Also, it’s been a little while since Google bought out anybody, so you know the corporation is itching to spend some money.

Skeptics should also note that Michael Arrington broke the news, and although the TechCrunch guru is usually right, anyway, he may have a special “in” where GrandCentral is concerned; one week ago, GrandCentral founder and CEO Craig Walker wrote, “Michael, you are the MAN,” on the GrandCentral Blog after Arrington complimented the company in a Newsweek story.

If we assume that this deal is real, then, Arrington writes, “I’m speculating on where Google will use GrandCentral, but the synergies with Gmail and GTalk are fairly obvious and could be the next step in Google’s competition with Skype and other instant messaging platforms.”

And there’s some very nifty stuff down that theoretical road.  Yet in terms of more immediate effects, alarm:clock thinks consumers may see some savings.  “Just last week, we thought of subscribing to Grand Central,” the article begins, but, in reference to the possible Google acquisition, notes, “[t]ime and again when the oligopoly buys such services, prices fall or go to free.  So we are going to sit on the sidelines and see what happens.”

In a sense, I suppose we’ll all be doing that as we wait to hear confirmation of the Google-GrandCentral deal.