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Shock threat to shut Skype (theage.com.au)
35 points by leriksen 3056 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

It does make you wonder about eBay's M&A team if they buy a company for $2.6Bn but still have to license the key bit of technology from the people they bought it from, AND with a license that the other side didn't have to renew.

Should at least make for an interesting lawsuit and a nice pay day for some lawyers!

Maybe the Skype founders just asked (or demanded). http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=725848

Or eBay did a IBM/MS/DOS redux.

How do you pay so much for a company and end up having to pay more for the technology. I don't even know why they paid so much for skype in the first place. Yes, the technology is cool, but not $2.6Bn cool. Even if they did have to license the engine it should have been perpetual with a buyout option. Then, again eBay must have been drunk off all the monies they are making screwing over users with insane fees.

Maybe already having millions of users does make technology a bit cooler?

Well, compared to some other acquisitions, youtube springs to mind here, it isn't that bad of a deal. Skype is a leader in a rapidly growing market with high entry barriers, have a unique technology, a real business model and a lot of users.

eBay announced it is planning to IPO Skype next year. I guess this is somehow related.

Or it may have something to do with this: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/10/report-founders-want-to...

Interesting - that announcement was just immediately prior to the eBay Skype IPO announcement (which was April 14 according to a quick Google..)

Yes, it sounds like an obvious tactic to spice up pricing negotiations. I can't imagine what other reason the founders could have for revoking or not renewing the license

good riddance, maybe their users will jump to Google Talk or other standards-based services.

This should serve as a cautionary tale to any company who relies on licensing proprietary technology in spite of emergent open standards.

Google Talk is not standards-based at all. It is a proprietary extension to XMMP.

Edit: I was wrong. Thanks, riffic! They have documented everything -- http://code.google.com/apis/talk/talk_developers_home.html

When eBay agreed to license (not buy) the key piece of technology, I wonder why the license wasn't made irrevocable.

Irrevocability could have been conditioned on paying some stated sum (possibly increasing over time) to the licensor.

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