In our October 8 post on the state of the Skype sale and litigation, we ended with a prediction: “The likely outcome of all of this remains the same – Joltid will get a stake of some size in Skype. But given the players involved, anything could still happen.” If GigaOm and the NYTimes are right, that’s exactly what’s happening. Even the “anything could still happen” part.
The old Skype founders will now have a stake in Skype according to unnamed sources. That makes sense. It was what eBay was negotiating with Skype long before the current buyout offer, and the team has to get something in exchange for dropping the intellectual property litigation.
But Index Ventures, the architect of the deal, is apparently out. For Silverlake Partners and Andreeseen Horowitz to agree to that either means there’s too much money involved for anyone to be worried about business loyalties, or there’s enough of a smoking gun that Index had no choice but to get away from the deal and all that liability.
Whatever the truth, everyone is in for a wild ride. Nobody who does business with the Skype founders ever seems to come out of it happy. Maybe Marc Andreessen has the patience to change all that this time around.
Just one problem, though. No one has ever described Marc Andreessen as a patient man.