Feeds

Icahn and I will: Carl's war on eBay goes NUCLEAR over Skype

World's most pushy investor sticks boot in over VoIP biz flog

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Carl Icahn has pressed the red button in his war on eBay and has demanded access to all its records documenting the sale of VoIP firm Skype.

The irate investor has published another of his infamous open letters in which he savages eBay management, and board director Marc Andreessen in particular. Icahn wants to launch a full review of eBay's sale of Skype to Microsoft.

Icahn repeated his allegation that Andreessen had a "clear and insurmountable" conflict of interest in the sale of the VoIP biz to Microsoft, because Andreessen was part of a coalition of investors who bought control of Skype for $1.9bn in 2009 – significantly less than the $2.6bn eBay originally paid for Skype in 2005.

In 2011, Microsoft snapped up Skype's service for $8.5bn. Andreessen denies any wrongdoing.

In a letter published last week, Icahn challenged the Netscape founder to a televised debate.

Now he's written a second letter to eBay shareholders yesterday attacking eBay board director Andreessen for shying away from a confrontation on live telly.

"Despite having just days ago professed a desire for 'honest, accurate debate' on the issues, eBay declined CNBC’s offer to participate in a televised discussion with me," Icahn wrote. "Then last Thursday eBay director Marc Andreessen attempted to defend his business practices to the Wall Street Journal but refused to directly address our assertions regarding his conflicts of interest. I think I am beginning to see a pattern here.

"I have a message for eBay’s board: You may be able to duck and weave when it comes to the media, but in a few short weeks you will have no choice but to face your stockholders at the annual meeting. We all deserve to know the truth about what really happened with Skype."

Icahn wants to know whether Andreessen knew that Microsoft was interested in buying Skype when his investment firm first bought it. He also wanted to know whether Andreessen signed a confidentiality agreement with Microsoft ahead of the sale.

In a statement yesterday, the eBay director said he does "not serve on the board of any company with any significant competitive overlap with eBay", and added that he disqualified himself from the eBay board when they worked to separate Skype and eBay.

"False and misleading accusations have been made against eBay and against me in my role as an eBay director," said Andreessen. "I dispute all accusations that I have violated any of my duties to eBay shareholders."

Icahn is known as "an activist" shareholder, which basically means he sticks his nose in whenever he has the chance. He has already angered some Apple investors after calling upon the Cupertino corp to launch a $50bn share buyback.

He owns a 2.15 per cent stake in e-commerce giant eBay and has called for the online marketplace to be separated from the online payment system PayPal. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.