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Broken Licensing Agreement Threatens Skype

eBay has released a statement detailing why they may have to shut down Skype. Apparently the problem stems from a licensing dispute with the founders of the internet telephony service. The surprise announcement puts a serious damper on any excitement about the 40 million active daily users around the world who use Skype to keep in touch.

Best known for online auctions, eBay bought Skype in 2005 from entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. But the $2.6 billion spent did not include an integral piece of peer to peer communications technology that is needed to power the software. Since then, the company has been licensing the technology from the founders’ new company, Joltid. In the last week. the pair recently decided to break the licensing agreement.

The dispute has now become a legal battle in the English High Court of Justice, with eBay trying to force Joltid to let it continue using the technology. Set to go to trial in June of next year, the verdict of the case could put a wrinkle in eBay’s plans to spin Skype off as a separate company in a public stock offering  in 2010. Courtesy of theage.com.au

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