Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Volpi and Index Ventures Out of Skype Deal, the Lawsuit-Happy Founder Twins In


According to sources close to the situation, Index Ventures and Michelangelo Volpi are out of the deal to buy Skype–and their lawsuit-loving nemeses, the founders of the Internet telephony service, are in.

Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis had sued Index and partner Michelangelo Volpi via tech companies they control, Joltid and Joost.

The pair had already been in a legal battle over software licensing issues with eBay (EBAY), the company that had sold Skype to in 2005.

They then accused Index and Volpi, employing a reputation-bashing style, of using confidential information as part of a consortium bid to acquire a large chunk of Skype.

Volpi had been Joost’s CEO.

Volpi and Index fired back in court filings and both sides armed themselves with powerful PR guns.

Ironically, Index was only a small part of the group that won the deal to acquire Skype from eBay recently.

News of the serious settlement talks was reported earlier this week by GigaOm’s Om Malik.

The New York Times’s Brad Stone also added significantly to the story about the settlement today, noting the Skype founders would be getting a stake and that Index “is most likely withdrawing from the deal.”

Well, most likely now means certainly for Index, sources told me, and the London-based venture firm that bid for Skype has to bid that deal goodbye.

More details to come, but it’s sure proof that the legal system, such as it was used, works.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle