Skype in Danger of Meltdown

Mon, 08/03/2009 - 5:07am
by James Middleton
Internet auction house eBay made a worrying admission late last week – not only did it pay almost $1bn too much for online telephony darling Skype, it also failed to secure rights to the VoIP firm’s underlying technology.

In a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late last week, eBay warned that Skype depends on key technology that is licensed from third parties. The third party in this case is Sweden-based Joltid, a peer to peer technology firm run by none other than Skype’s founders and ex-owners Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.

The technology in question, which eBay licenses from Joltid, affects Skype’s underlying peer to peer architecture and firewall traversal technology and the video compression/decompression.

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