Skype settles lawsuit with founders

Updated: January 07, 2011

Skype settles lawsuit with founders

Right after Ebay announced it was selling Skype to a group of investors, finally divesting itself of the popular peer to peer VoIP service that it had acquired and then let stagnate, the original founders of Skype sued because they claimed they still owned the underpinning P2P& technology that Skype was using. Although it is pretty certain that Skype and Ebay knew this, it wasn't common knowledge in the rest of the industry. The result was a big mess and one that has complicated the future for Skype.

All that is over now. A deal has been reached that splits up the orginal deal and gives the two original founders a 14% share in the new Skype at the expense of both eBay and the investment group. The new owners now own 56% of the company, eBay retains 30% and the founders get the remaining 14%. In addition the original founders are expected to make a 'serious' invetment in the new company.

While it is great that the lagal and financial mess is over and the new Skype can now pursue its goals without hindrance, one possibility that was raised after the lawsuit was that Skype might switch from its propietary P2P backbone to one based around the SIP standard. That now seems unlikely. While Skype's proprietary platform is very powerful and has advantages in high definition audio and video and in encryption it also has disadvantages inherent in being proprietary.

Overall, however, the settlement is a good thing for Skype and we can hope to see some great new developments from teh company moving forward.

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