Microsoft is close to finalizing a deal to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. The Wall Street Journal confirmed the news after we had first reported the news yesterday. The deal is especially good for Microsoft’s partners including Nokia and Facebook.
Skype, the web’s telephone and video chat pioneer, has seen a lot since its inception eight years ago. But it’s real legacy is its people. The well-connected network of alums reads like a Silicon Valley who’s who.
The great Skype legal mess is about to come to an end, thanks to a settlement between eBay (s EBAY) — and private investors led by Silver Lake Partners — and Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. As part of the deal, the two Skype founders will get 10 percent of the company in exchange for allowing it to use the Global Index technology from their IP company, JoltID. They have an option to pay $83 million for another 3 percent of the new Skype. They will have two board seats on the 23-person board. These details were reported by Kara Swisher on her blog last night. I reported the news of a settlement this past weekend. Since then, more details have emerged that Index Ventures and Michael Volpi were both out of the deal.