Daily Archives: July 31, 2009

David Gelles

Skype’s future just got cloudier. In a regulatory filing this week, Ebay, which in 2005 acquired Skype for a final price of $3.1bn, said it might shut down the internet telephony service if it can’t resolve a legal dispute with Skype’s founders or develop an alternative technology.

The technology used to power Skype is still owned by the company’s founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. Their new company, Joltid, licenses the technology back to Ebay.

But Joltid has accused Ebay of violating the terms of that agreement by using parts of the code it did not license, and has threatened to withdraw the technology. Ebay has asked a British court to intervene, and the case is pending.

In this week’s filing, Ebay said that while it expects to prevail in court, it was working to develop an alternative to the Joltid technology. Read more

Richard Waters

A week after unveiling very disappointing fourth quarter profits, and a day after pulling off a search alliance with Yahoo, Microsoft’s top executives faced analysts and investors at company headquarters in Redmond to discuss the state of the world. These were the highlights:

Yahoo. Some of CEO Steve Ballmer’s strongest words were reserved for defending someone else’s strategy rather than his own. He claimed Wall Street was dead wrong to have laid waste to Yahoo’s share price over the last two days. That’s a mark of how important it has become for Ballmer that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz succeeds: a wounded Yahoo is the last thing he needs as he takes aim at Google. He now has a large vested interest in its success. Read more