Saturday, November 7, 2009

eBay settles Skype software suit

E-commerce giant eBay has settled its long-running legal feud with the founders of Skype, clearing the way for a $2-billion sale of the internet telephony pioneer, the company announced Friday.

Under the terms of the settlement, Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis will get a 14 percent stake in the consortium buying Sykpe from eBay in return for an undisclosed cash investment and the withdrawal of their lawsuits.

Private-equity firm Silver Lake, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will together own 56 percent of Skype, while eBay will retain 30 percent.

Zennstrom and Friis will also contribute Joltid software that is critical to the operation of Skype.

The pair had sued eBay for allegedly violating terms of a licensing agreement of Joltid, which they retained when they sold Skype to eBay in 2005 for about $2.6 billion in cash and stock.

"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."
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