As expected, eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) announced a deal today between the Skype investor group and Joltid, the owner of the code that runs Skype. Joltid and Skype cofounders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis will get 14 percent of the new Skype in exchange for granting Skype ownership of the software previously licensed from Joltid and ending all litigation pending against the investor group and eBay at the deal’s close. That means full ownership, eBay told us when we asked if Joltid retained any non-exclusive rights to the Global Index code: “Joltid and Joost have the ability to pursue other non-competitive business opportunities.” It appears that they can continue to use the code under a license if it’s non-competitive.
Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) will together hold 56 percent, eBay will retain 30 percent. Initially, the deal called for the investor group to get 65 percent and eBay to keep 35 percent. Index Ventures is no longer part of the deal. The deal still calls for $1.9 billion in cash and a $125 million note from eBay. Release.
Robert adds: This is a big win for Zennström and Friis. They have succeeded not only in forcing out Index Ventures and their former Joost CEO Mike Volpi, now an Index partner, whom they had accused of pilfering Joost’s P2P underbelly to power Skype, but also in securing a stake for themselves in the Skype venture they started, and which remains a potentially lucrative part of the future online telecoms landscape.