Legal settlement nears in Skype dispute

Natalie Apostolou
05 Nov 2009

The tangled legal imbroglio between eBay, a group of investors and the original founders of Skype may be close to settlement, according to reports.

Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis have been trying to buy back Skype, which they sold to eBay in 2005 and have also accused potential Skype buyers Index Ventures and one of its partners Michaelangelo Volpi, of using confidential material to execute their acquisition of 65% of the company.

Volpi is also the former CEO and chairman of Joost and was ousted earlier this year.

In September eBay confirmed that it would sell 65% of Skype to Netscape founder Marc Andreessen’s VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, Silver Lake Partners, Canadian Pension Plan Investments and Index Ventures. Zennstrom and Friis subsequently filed for an injunction against the deal.

The Wall Street Journalreports that a settlement could emerge as early as this week. According to the report, it would drop Index Ventures and Volpi from the investment group and instead give Zennstrom and Friis a stake and at least one seat on the Skype board.

The deal would also see the termination of a separate dispute between eBay and the Skype duo over intellectual property. It is unclear whether the deal includes the dropping of allegations against Index and Volpi.

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