Skype Lawsuit Gets Resolved, Index Ventures Booted Out Of Sale

Posted Nov 6, 2009

As you may remember, two months ago eBay was planning to spin Skype into an independent company. The buyers who would take control of Skype from eBay included Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Index Ventures, and Silver Lake. However the founders of Skype interrupted the sale by claiming intellectual property infringement on the VoIP technology. The original founders of Skype started a company called Joltid. And Joltid said that they were suing eBay.

The lawsuit has now been settled. eBay will be selling a majority ownership of Skype to the aforementioned investors for $2 billion. Joltid will be licensing the technology to the new Skype buyers. Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis will get 14% ownership in Skype as a result. Both Friis and Zennstrom will also make a “significant’ investment in Skype too. eBay will retain 30% in Skype and the rest of the investor group will get 56%.

Friis and Zennstrom also filed a lawsuit back in September against former Joost CEO Mike Volpi. Friis and Zennstrom founded Joost several years ago and sued Volpi because of breach of fiduciary duty. Volpi is currently a partner with Index Ventures which is one of the companies buying Skype. As a result, Index Ventures is no longer one of the buyers in Skype. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this year.