eBay pen pal Carl Icahn strikes again over Skype deal

Summary:Icahn's latest blasts the defenses laid out by eBay and one of its directors, Marc Andreessen, over the Skype deal.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn fired off another letter to eBay shareholders and again reiterated that director Marc Andreessen had too many conflicts during the Skype sale.

Icahn and Andreessen have been volleying posts and letters in recent days. Icahn's beef is that Andreessen couldn't have been able to recuse himself from eBay deliberations over what to do with Skype. eBay acquired Skype in 2005 for $2.5 billion, said in 2009 that it would separate the unit and launch an IPO and then sold the company to a venture group that included Andreessen in 2009 for $1.9 billion and a $125 million note.

Also:  EBay founder rebuffs Carl Icahn, defends CEO and board in new memo  |  Icahn ratchets up eBay rhetoric by slamming Andreessen, Cook for conflicts of interest  |  eBay CEO Donahoe gives Icahn e-commerce tutorial over PayPal plan

What's the end game here? Icahn wants to portray eBay's board as a mess. If he succeeds, the investor will have a better chance of making his case that eBay should spin off PayPal in a move that may not make a ton of sense.

Icahn noted:

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.

Topics: E-Commerce


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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