Microsoft-Skype merger officially approved by EU

After waiting for months, Microsoft and Skype got some good news today. The European Commission has finally approved the merger of the two companies which should clear the way for the deal, first announced in May, to officially close. In a press release today, the EU said it gave its thumbs-up to the merger "because the deal would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it."

Microsoft first announced in May that it would pay $8.5 billion in cash to acquire Skype, which has over 660 million registered users for its Internet-based phone and video chat service. The deal was approved by the US's Federal Communications Commission back in June. In explaining today's decision by the EU, it said, "In the area of consumer communications, the investigation found that the parties' activities mainly overlap for video communications, where Microsoft is active through its Windows Live Messenger. However, the Commission considers that there are no competition concerns in this growing market where numerous players, including Google, are present. For enterprise communications, the investigation confirmed that Skype has a limited market presence for these products and does not compete directly with Microsoft's enterprise communication product Lync, which is used mostly by large enterprises."

As we previously reported, the EU was urged by other software companies in Europe to delay its approval, as they wanted the commission to force Microsoft to un-bundle the Skype software from Microsoft's Windows operating system. Microsoft has already said that even after the Skype merger becomes official it will continue to develop Skype for other hardware and software platforms.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft wants Windows 8 to have the same system requirements as Windows 7

Next Story

Sprint confirms roll-out of LTE network in 2012

13 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Looking forward to the Skype update, when on About page, it would be mentioned as Microsoft Skype.

"Microsoft first announced in May that it would pay $8.5 billion IN CASH to acquire Skype"
What does that mean 'in cash'? Like a team of men with heavy briefcases are going to meet Skype or is that just another way of saying tax-free?

TakeNothingBack said,
"Microsoft first announced in May that it would pay $8.5 billion IN CASH to acquire Skype"
What does that mean 'in cash'? Like a team of men with heavy briefcases are going to meet Skype or is that just another way of saying tax-free?
I think part of the deal was to bring the money in grocery trollies.

To make the Skype brand stronger, I think Microsoft should merge the Lync brand into the Skype brand too!

Hopefully now the epic WP7 with Skype integration can happen, or at the very least the app demoed months ago will be released soon.

Ramcee said,
I already knew it.. this is old news :-#

today is the announcement how could it be old news? unless you came from the future

I'd love to see skype intergrated deep into WP7 to the point its just another number in your contacts list and you don't have to ensure the skype app is running to accept calls from it. Seemless intergration will push skype a long way. Three network, here in the UK kind of intergrate skype calls on their network for free and do have some dedicated mobile (cell) phones with skype kind of built in, but its more an app that you have to use. I could really see Microsoft doing a great deal with 3 in the UK, and I'm sure other 3G networks around the world would be able to offer the same. Microsoft really do have a chance to push mobile talk time to a new level.

M_Lyons10 said,
Cool. I can't wait to see what Microsoft does with this.
There are quite a few options to choose from.
Metrofy?
Ribbonify?
Or Lyncify?