Andy has just posted the full text of the Streamcast / Skype RICO lawsuit. It’s kind of a grubby fax. Who knows where he got it from? He would only tell me "sources". Nonetheless, the suit alleges that:
Streamcast and some of the predecessor entities to Skype had a right of first refusal agreement allowing Streamcast to purchase the peer to peer technology which is the basis of Kazaa, and which is alleged to be the basis of Skype, in the event that an offer was made by a third party.
Streamcast was not offered this right when the technology was sold to Sharman.
Through a series of transactions in offshore havens such as Vanuatu, the technology was illegally transferred to Skype, in breach of the original contract.
Streamcast is claiming ownership of the technology which Skype sold to EBay last year. They’re demanding the usual remedies such as injunctions and the like. And, they’re demanding a share of the $4.1 billion sale price.
No doubt there will be a lot learned in discovery. The allegations, however, are stunning. The whole suit begs the question "How much, and how carefully, did EBay do their due diligence?".
Most of all, I am in awe of Andy Abramson. He told me last week that he had a big story coming. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it would be this big.
Update: Andy just dropped me a piece of email at 6:31 AM Monday March 27th to say that he may not have received the final suit in his fax. So, he’s updated his posting, and taken the fax down for now. Stay tuned.