EU competition commissioner says Microsoft will win EC approval for Skype acquisition


EU competition commissioner says Microsoft will win EC approval for Skype acquisition

Jenny Williams

Microsoft is expected to win EU approval for its $8.5bn acquisition of internet telephony services company, Skype, despite claims the deal is anti-competitive.

Joaquín Almunia, the EU competition commissioner, is to give the go-ahead for the deal after Microsoft gave assurances Skype will be available across multiple operating systems, not just Windows, the Financial Times reported.

Microsoft announced plans to buy the internet telephony services company in May 2011. Microsoft planned to use Skype to provide Skype support for its Xbox, Kinect and Windows Phone devices. Microsoft said it will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities, as well as investing in Skype on non-Microsoft platforms.

Announcing the acquisition, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, said: "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) granted approval for Microsoft to buy Skype Technologies in June 2011.

Skype suffered two outages in as many weeks in June 2011 leaving some users unable to sign into accounts. Skype issued workarounds for the outages, for which it blamed on a configuration problem.

Some critics blamed integration with Microsoft for the service disruption on social networking site, Twitter. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed Skype is an independent company until the deal has been finalised.

Read Computer Weekly's analysis, What does Microsoft's Skype acquisition mean for business? >>

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