Last week, Carl Icahn called out eBay for declining his request to make public to shareholders all documents and records related to its 2009 sale of Skype.
Today, eBay told Re/code in a statement that it doesn’t believe Icahn has legal grounds for his request.
“We don’t believe he is legally entitled to what he has asked for,” the company said in a statement. “But we told him that we will give him relevant documents if he signs a customary and standard confidentiality agreement. We have not heard back from him. Relevant facts about the Skype transaction are publicly available on our website for everyone to see.”
Icahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Icahn’s document requests are an attempt to back up his claims that eBay did not get the best deal possible for Skype, because it sold it to a syndicate of companies that included eBay board member Marc Andreessen’s venture capital firm. His end goals are to force two of his associates onto eBay’s board and then push hard for eBay to spin off PayPal, either by selling it or positioning it for its own IPO.
But it’s important to keep in mind that Icahn’s document demands are likely as much about painting a perception that eBay has something to hide as they are about really uncovering wrongdoing or corporate negligence.
EBay has maintained that its sale of Skype was the best available deal at the time.