Skype might have to shut down because of a dispute over the core technology used to make the internet telephone system work.
EBay, which paid $2.6 billion (??1.6 billion) for the voice-over-the-internet system in 2005, is facing a court battle with the original founders of the company who retained the rights to the technology at the heart of the system.
EBay admitted in a regulatory filing that it might have to close down the company. It said it was trying to develop alternative software but if that did not work, or if eBay lost the right to the original software: “Skype would be severely and adversely affected and the continued operation of Skype’s business as currently conducted would likely not be possible.”
The dispute also threatens eBay’s plan to spin off Skype, scheduled for next year.
I’ve got mixed feelings about this. I”m an occasional Skype user, but the main reason I went ahead and put out for a number and voicemail is that I use it when I teach online classes and I don’t want to give out my home or cell number. Google Voice makes that a bit of a moot point. So I’m not sure I know what I’m going to do.