Cisco will try to reverse Microsoft's purchase of Skype in Europe

In October 2011, the European Commission approved the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, just a few days before the deal from Microsoft to buy the VoIP company officially closed. At a court cast this week, however, Cisco will make the case that the Commission made a number of "manifest errors" in allowing the Microsoft-Skype deal to go forward.

Reuters reports that Cisco will take its case to the General Court of the European Union on Wednesday. The company announced in February 2012 that it would appeal the Commission's ruling, but it's unlikely that the general court will overturn the Commission's decision.

Cisco has been critical of Skype in the past for using what it calls proprietary standards for its service. In a November press release, Cisco said those standards hinder "Skype's more than 600 million users from calling non-Skype users, and prevents businesses from reaching them via systems that offer services such as healthcare and job training by remote video."

Should the general court not reverse the Commission's decision, Cisco has one more option left: It can take the case to the EU's Court of Justice, its highest court.

Source: Reuters | Image via Microsoft

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47 Comments

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Ferk cry much Cisco how's about trying to do something for yourselves once in a while instead of expecting everyone else to do it for you or do you need momma microsoft to hold your hand and wipe your bum

The next thing you know

MS would say **** that and buy Cisco! oh yea just imagine Router with Metro/title interface! haha! xD

iron2000 said,
An image forms in mind...
EU - marriage officiant
MS - groom
Skype - bride
Cisco - the guy that objects the wedding

It only matters if the wedding isn't done yet... In this case MS and Skype were already 'wed' without objection... Cisco was late to the party which has long been done (and exhausted - MS and Skype now have an offspring)....

No company should be forced to us open source anything. Personally as a end user I could care less if Microsoft uses Open Source or not.

I don't see the big deal. It's not like if you're a Skype user you're banned from user any other software. I'll just install whatever clients I need to access the servers I want.

Spicoli said,
I don't see the big deal. It's not like if you're a Skype user you're banned from user any other software. I'll just install whatever clients I need to access the servers I want.

Yeah, but don't you get it? It's naturally the competition's fault that you're not using THEIR products... Just like it's everyone else's fault that no one uses Opera...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, but don't you get it? It's naturally the competition's fault that you're not using THEIR products... Just like it's everyone else's fault that no one uses Opera...

Yeah, you might want to think about that. Over 300 million people use Opera.

I find it very curious that they waited to do this until after Microsoft went to the time and expense of upgrading all of Skype's backend systems and integrating the service into Microsoft products... I'm sure that wasn't planned...

I think it's more likely that they're panicking over Microsoft pushing Skype across the board into desktop, tablets and phones.

I think it's a little late for that... LOL

But this is the sort of thing I hate about Cisco. They build crap products and then whine when they're not given preferential treatment in the industry that they are failing to compete in... They're the Opera of networking / phone systems...

The title says that this can "reverse" Microsoft's purchase. How is that exactly? Or would this end up as a fine on MS (or the Commission since they made the mistake) if the courts agree with Cisco?

EDIT: aha! Had to read the original article: "If Cisco wins the challenge at the Luxembourg-based general court, the European Commission would have to annul its decision, which allowed Microsoft to buy the Internet video and voice company without having to make any concessions." SO basically fine + force them to do something.

I don't think they can fine them yet, considering they haven't done anything wrong yet. It's their fault for approving it. More likely they would force them to do something, and then fine them if they fail.

M_Lyons10 said,

...and who slapped them on the wrist ast they aren't Microsoft...? Yeah...

You might want to read the article before commenting....

Cisco has been critical of Skype in the past for using what it calls proprietary standards for its service. In a November press release, Cisco said those standards hinder "Skype's more than 600 million users from calling non-Skype users, and prevents businesses from reaching them via systems that offer services such as healthcare and job training by remote video."

Yes because Cisco only uses open, non-proprietary stiff right?

Oh wait..

Actually, if you look at their Unified Communications platform (which is the 'competitor' of Skype), yes. The only proprietary protocol left is SCCP, which they are phasing out to SIP. All new phones already use SIP. Their presence platform uses XMPP/Jabber and can openly communicate with other platforms. The codecs they use are just general codecs like 711, 722 and 729. If it makes you happy, you can use brand X phones on a Cisco PBX.

You can't buy that company because we can't integrate with it... If we can't integrate with it your user's suffer... Government, please save these users!

I am willing to bet that if this were overturned, minutes later Cisco would be making bids to buy and incorporate the proprietary protocols into their own hardware and software

Cisco uses plenty of proprietary technology.

In any case, many believe that Microsoft will use Lync as the infrastructure for Skype in the future. Skype will be the consumer brand, but the actual technology will be Microsoft's Lync, and Lync works with Cisco products.

rorrr said,
Cisco uses plenty of proprietary technology.

In any case, many believe that Microsoft will use Lync as the infrastructure for Skype in the future. Skype will be the consumer brand, but the actual technology will be Microsoft's Lync, and Lync works with Cisco products.


Yep. The difference is the Microsoft's technology actually works...

rorrr said,
Cisco uses plenty of proprietary technology.

In any case, many believe that Microsoft will use Lync as the infrastructure for Skype in the future. Skype will be the consumer brand, but the actual technology will be Microsoft's Lync, and Lync works with Cisco products.

Our company uses cisco video conferencing and everybody absolutely hate it. Cisco make good hardware but give us a break. Let microsoft handles video conferencing software. Your solutions just sucks.

S3P€hR said,

Our company uses cisco video conferencing and everybody absolutely hate it. Cisco make good hardware but give us a break. Let microsoft handles video conferencing software. Your solutions just sucks.


In my experience, they no longer make good hardware either...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yep. The difference is the Microsoft's technology actually works...

and other's technology never work??? apple is meant to be simple. microsoft technology is always complicated

thealexweb said,

I think it's 'open' but doesn't use 'open standards' like Google Talk does.

Didn't google just abandon XMPP to go proprietary for some of its stuff? I believe that cisco probably could approach Microsoft to federate Skype.. there are a few 3rd party hardware devices. i'm always curious if cisco even tried..

spudtrooper said,

Didn't google just abandon XMPP to go proprietary for some of its stuff?

I thought they used a mixture now? I'm fairly sure Google Talk still uses open stuff because Microsoft were able to integrate Google Talk in to Outlook very easily. If Google wanted to integrate Skype into Gmail it would be a world of problems.

spudtrooper said,

Didn't google just abandon XMPP to go proprietary for some of its stuff? I believe that cisco probably could approach Microsoft to federate Skype.. there are a few 3rd party hardware devices. i'm always curious if cisco even tried..


Cisco never "tries"... They expect to just be handed market share...

thealexweb said,

I thought they used a mixture now? I'm fairly sure Google Talk still uses open stuff because Microsoft were able to integrate Google Talk in to Outlook very easily. If Google wanted to integrate Skype into Gmail it would be a world of problems.

Google Talk uses XMPP but its being replaced with Google Hangouts which is proprietary

Skype has SIP connectivity, but its only available to business Customers.

Can't see any valid reason a company like Skype should give Cisco a free kick. Cisco are free to go out an develop their own VSP any time they like and COMPETE with Microsoft in the free market.

hobsgrg said,

Google Talk uses XMPP but its being replaced with Google Hangouts which is proprietary

Doesn't Google Hangouts essentially use Wave?