A good day today for Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. They’re bosses of Skype and first burst onto the scene coding Kazaa – the (still widely used) file sharing program which allows people to swap music and more.
Although – hey – they’re seeking to distance themselves from Kazaa now. Why ? Well, Kazaa was developed in March 2001 under the “Consumer Empowerment” company name. Eventually Kazaa – being an open invitation to share MP3’s across the world – would get them into trouble. In 2001, after American music labels and movie studios launched a copyright infringement suit against Kazaa, Zennström and Friis shut down their operations and transferred ownership to Sharman Networks Limited, a company based in the South Pacific….although actually, they’re in Luxembourg.
Today however they’ve been give a nice truck load of cash by Ebay for the Skype product. Oh, and when I say “a truck load of cash”, I really do mean it…..
Ebay have given Skype approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock.
That’s 2.6 BILLION DOLLARS!!
We’re talking about 1.4 Billion quid!!!
Not bad for some file sharers eh ?!?!?!
Links – Skype press release – EBay Press Release