It is astounding that eBay forked (NASDAQ:EBAY) over $3B for Skype and didn’t actually buy Skype’s underlying technology.
It is amazing that they didn’t realize this and outright criminal that they didn’t get a fully-paid, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive (exclusive for the purposes of international calling) license.
Om Malik has all of the links you need:
Now this will probably get settled one way or another, and as a non-Skype user, non-eBay shareholder, I don’t really care either way.
But a few points:
- This proves that just because you hire expensive lawyers doesn’t mean anything.
- One more example of upward failing. To think this woman, Meg Whitman, could have been our Treasury secretary. I am sorry, however wonderful Ms. Whitman was, this was done on her watch and it’s just appalling in terms of botched due diligence.
- With all due respect to Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, you have to wonder, will anyone ever buy a company from them again? I mean, sure Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) /CBS (NYSE:CBS) and a number of VCs invested in their next venture Joost (hmm… is there such a thing as karma?), but this was before this bit of news was out. Ultimately, I am not sure I would have a lot of comfort and confidence doing a deal with these guys.