Skype-Fring Relation Ends Over TOS Dispute

Fring which has accused Skype of ordering that an end to the pair’s four-year interconnection relationship in retaliation for it blocking Skype users from its new iPhone service.

Fring which has a mobile app that lets users of Skype, Yahoo and other services connect via chat or voice, said Skype had blocked this mobile app after Fring reduced connectivity to Skype users to its new iPhone 4 services. Skype rejected Fring’s claims which it was forced to reduce connectivity to Skype users after its new service, which caused unprecedented demand for data traffic. Skype’s VP of legal said that Fring’s claims were untrue and Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own, Skype Fring that was using the software in a way which breaches the company’s terms of use.

On Monday VOIP developer Fring stated that it is being forced to halt its compatibility with Skype under a threat of legal action. Skype denied blocking Fring, but confirmed its allegation that Fring was breaching its terms of service.

Fring, which has offered interoperability with the Skype protocol since 2006, called this particular move of Skype as “anti-competitive ambush”. Fring said in a statement that since its foundation Fring’s rich mobile communication service have been available to both Fring users and to 3rd party networks like Google Talk, SIP, Twitter and until now Skype. However despite Fring is expanding its network nowadays to serve its increased and expanding user base, Skype is refusing to allow Fring to restore its connectivity to Skype. As a result Fring users will not be able to communicate with their friends in Skype but they can invite them to join Fringe.

However, Skype officials have denied the claim that Skype had blocked Fring. They stated that Fring has voluntarily severed the virtual connection between the two services. Though a spokeswoman for the company confirmed that Skype believes that Fring has violated its terms of service, and said that companies that did not comply with the terms of Operation will be subject to enforcement.

Skype spokeswoman said via an email that Skype has been discussing with Fringe regarding their belief that Fring is breaching Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. Skype further stated that they are disappointed that an amicable resolution was not possible. There is no truth to Fring’s claims that Skype has blocked them, rather it was decision of Fring and choice to withdraw Skype functionality. The spokeswoman added that Skype encourages openness and supports developers to build product that work with Skype in accordance with Skype’s various API license agreements. She said that in this particular incidence Fring has violated Skype’s by misusing the Skype software in ways which was not designed to meet consumer demands. She added just in the past weekend Fring pulled down Skype support for their iPhone video client which further besmirched Skype brand and disappointed consumers yet again.

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