Skype Shutdown Threat over Joltid Licensing
Skype could possibly get shut down over a licensing dispute with Joltid, which developed Skype many years ago. When eBay bought Skype for $3.1 billion in 2005, it did not buy a core element of the underlying technology which powers the popular VOIP service.
This is a huge setback for eBay, who hoped to take Skype public: without new licensing, eBay would be runnign Skype illegally. This gives Skype's original creators a boost in their quest to eventually buy Skype back from eBay.
The internet auction company paid a total of $3.1bn for the telephone service between 2005 and 2007 and is now locked in a legal battle with the technology's owner, Joltid, a company owned by Skype's founders.
Should Joltid force Skype to give up its core technology, Skype would either die or need a full rebuild. Neither scenario will take place soon, though, as the legal battle will be long.
The case has arisen because Joltid, set up in 2001 by Zennström and Janus Friis – who both went on to found Skype in 2003 – licenses its software to Skype, which enables the company to build its huge internet telephony system, which connects millions of computers.