Silly Skype Soap Opera Finally Canceled

Published on November 6, 2009
by John Paczkowski

imagesnasty legal sparring, the Internet telephony service’s founders agreed to join the investor group purchasing it from EBay (EBAY) and dropped the lawsuit that had threatened to bollocks the deal.

“Skype will be well positioned to move forward under new owners with ownership and control over its core technology,” said eBay chief executive John Donahoe in a statement. “We look forward to closing the deal and focusing on growing our core e-commerce and payments businesses.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis will take a 14 percent stake in the company they founded and then sold to eBay, which will include an investment by them.

BoomTown’s Kara Swisher reported yesterday that the total was 13 percent–10 percent for the rights to key Skype technology held by the founders and the option to invest $83 million for three percent more.

In exchange, the pair will give Skype software essential to its operation and drop their various lawsuits against eBay and Skype buyers.

Interestingly, Index Ventures, which helped orchestrate the deal, is leaving the consortium of investors taking a majority stake in the company–as BoomTown reported earlier this week. Index partner Michelangelo Volpi, a former employee of Skype’s founders, had been at the center of one the suits that threatened to ruin the deal. Said Index partner Danny Rimer: “The deal terms changed for Index such that it no longer matches our investment criteria and thus we have decided not to participate in the transaction.”


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