Cisco approaches EU court to challenge Microsoft-Skype deal

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Networking company Cisco has reached the European court to challenge Microsoft’s $8.5 billion takeover of Skype. The merger which took place in October last year, according to Cisco, blocks its own video conferencing systems. The company claims that by integrating Skype exclusively with its Lync Enterprise Communications Platform, Microsoft could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders to a Microsoft-only platform.

Marthin De Beer, the head of Cisco’s video conferencing division, wrote in a blog post, “We respect the European Commission, and value Microsoft as a customer, supplier, partner, and competitor. Cisco does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability.”

“This appeal is about one thing only: securing standards-based interoperability in the video calling space. Our goal is to make video calling as easy and seamless as  email is today. Making a video-to-video call should be as easy as dialing a phone number. Today, however, you can’t make seamless video calls from one platform to another, much to the frustration of consumers and business users alike,” Marthin adds.

Microsoft is confident that EU will not change its mind over the Skype deal.

“The European Commission conducted a thorough investigation of the acquisition, in which Cisco actively participated, and approved the deal in a 36-page decision without any conditions. We’re confident the Commission’s decision will stand up on appeal,” the company said in a statement.



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