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Did eBay Buy A Lemon?

Perhaps the most interesting post of all the many posts about the Skype and eBay fiasco -that is rapidly turning into what could be an eye opening investigation by someone about the interlocking relationships between lawyers, VC's, startups and suitors- is the post by Tom Keating that references and alleges all kinds of treachery by the Skype founders.

In many ways this reminds me of what happened to the suit from Streamcast against Skype's founders which was a RICO suit as it alleged that there was a pattern/method that was used to basically never turn over technology that cripples someone's business.

More important and material to all this as Michael Arrington and others have pointed out is the total lack of knowing what they were buying by the eBay leadership at the time. Without question, Skype is a business that can make money, so buying the business made sense. But to draw a comparison, eBay bought the car and was being loaned engine. Sure it rolled. But without the engine there's no way it goes anywhere. Take the engine away, and you really just have a car body, not a car.

Om's post pulls no punches. He has been on cordial terms with the Index VC folks for years and has had a very good rapport with them, so one has to remember that nothing shared in the past isn't helping him shape his opinion. But here's the interesting thing, all of a sudden a bunch of former Kazaa folks are popping up, spread a doomsday story about the original founders pulling the plug on Skype.

The asymmetrical warrior in me see's the pattern. Reach out to a few bloggers, get the scare out. Sorry. My dad taught me something early on in life. Wear a gun. You scare people you may use it. Pull the gun, you better use it. There's no halfway point with a loaded gun that's pointed at the target.

It's time to fire the gun and move on.


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I giddy to know more about name or firm of the Ebay legal council who signed off on that deal. Who, if anyone , in EBay's technology executive management roles read (if at all) those most important clauses? If so, when did they read them?

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