Skype’s future has been secured after owners eBay finally sold a large proportion of the company by settling a legal row over rights to the web phone call technology.
There had been fears Skype could be closed down after its founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis earlier this year filed lawsuits against eBay, which bought the popular service for more than £1bn in 2005.
Mr Zennestrom and Mr Friis, both Scandanavian entrepreneurs, said their company Joltid still owned the technology that powered Skype and claimed eBay had broken its licence agreement. They said their software was being downloaded by six global Skype users per second.
The lawsuits were dropped last week after Joltid accepted a deal which would give them part ownership of Skype.
In a statement, eBay said: “As part of the settlement agreement, Joltid and Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis will join the investor group, contributing Joltid software and making a significant capital investment in exchange for a 14 percent stake in Skype.”
A private equity firm and a venture capital firm are among other parties in the investment group.
Commenting on the sale, Skype’s president Josh Silverman said: “Great news – we’ve closed the deal with the new investors.
“Our journey continues: say hello to the future!”
Skype, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg, bypasses the standard telephone network by channelling voice and video calls over the internet.
It allows users to call others free of charge and provides the ability to connect with landlines or mobile devices at low rates
Content courtesy of Sky News