Skype’s founders – who have been upset over eBay’s planned sale of their VoIP baby to a private investor group, and sued – have settled with the online auction giant.
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis will own a 14 percent stake in Skype, with an option to invest even more.
In return, eBay gets to keep a stake in Skype, too, as well as have the right to Skype software. Zennstrom and Friis had argued that eBay and Skype’s new investors were violating copyright law. They said Skype users in the United States were infringing on copyrights held by another of their companies, peer-to-peer software firm Joltid. Zennstrom and Friis wanted damages that could have added up to more than $75 million daily, according to the lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Northern California.
Now, though, they get something even better – regained control of the peer-to-peer IP telephony company they created, then sold for billions of dollars to eBay. eBay will retain a 30 percent stake in Skype while private investors will hold 56 percent..