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Skype Founders Stalled eBay’s Re-Sale Deal to Get in on the Action

In October, we reported that Skype’s founders were suing eBay–which acquired the VOIP service in 2005–over a snippet of code that, they say, wasn’t part of the Skype acquisition. The suit gained notoriety for its astronomical damages claim of $75 million per day. Water-cooler talk held that the founders sought to disrupt a $1.9 billion deal that would unload Skype to a group of investors–but it wasn’t apparent why they’d want such a disruption until this week.

skype

After several weeks of litigation, it appears the parties might be ready to settle, reports The New York Times. The new deal is much more amenable to the founders. The structure of the group that is buying Skype will change, the Times says, allowing for the founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, to take a significant chunk of the business back. Details of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but the Times says the duo will also gain at least one seat on Skype’s board.

In hindsight, the suit the pair filed earlier this month appears to have been a stall tactic. Zennstrom and Friis were apparently buying time while they cobbled together a competing offer to buy back Skype from eBay.

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