You'd think tech bloggers would learn from the peacemaking founders of Skype, who just dropped lawsuits holding back the $2.8 billion sale of their former company. Instead the writers are calling one another inaccurate, spineless "toddlers."
Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are dropping suits against eBay, to whom they sold Skype in 2005, and against a consortium of private finance companies trying to buy Skype from eBay. The founders had accused both groups of intellectual property theft. They're dropping those lawsuits in exchange for 14 percent of Skype.
But former Wall Street Journal reporter Kara Swisher reported last night on Dow Jones' All Things D website that the founders would get not 14 percent but up to 13 percent of the company — 10 percent outright and an option to buy another 3 percent. Sacrebleu! Rob Wauters of rival TechCrunch was quick to rub Swisher's face in the minor error, writing that the founders "are getting 14 percent of Skype back for rights to the... technology their company... controls... and not 10% like previously reported by other media" (emphasis from original). Meow!
The press release issued by Skype actually confirmed Swisher's reporting that the founders had to put in money to get some of their shares. Swisher later acknowledged that the figure was 14 percent, just one percent higher than she had written. But she also engaged in a lengthy Twitter fight with Wauters and his colleague Erick Schonfeld (see below) over their public nitpicking and fact-bending. Maybe everyone involved in this fracas needs to take the next couple of days off. Oh, look at the calendar!