eBay spins off Skype

eBay, as expected, sells Skype to a group that includes Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and Skype’s founders.

eBay paid 2.6 billion dollars for Skype in 2005 and sold it on Friday for a bit more.


Why did eBay sell? I think that in 2005, eBay planned to use Skype to allow sellers and buyers to communicate by voice. Apparently, Skype’s founders retained rights to Skype’s underlying file-sharing software, named FastTrack P2P. I suspect that eBay’s lack of ownership of all of Skype’s source code prevented eBay from securely integrating Skype with eBay’s transaction data, so they sold it.

Skype’s founders, Janus Friis from Denmark and Niklas Zennstrom from Sweden, originally used FastTrack P2P to create the infamous Kazaa peer to peer file sharing system. They sold Kazaa to Sharman Networks. Next, they used the FastTrack techology to create Skype, which they sold to eBay. They then founded Joost, which shares video using — you guessed it: FastTrack P2P.

I’d like to meet the lawyers who convinced eBay to buy Skype in 2005 without ownership of its underlying technology.


Visit my website:
http://russbellew.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s