The required government approval process for Microsoft to acquire Skype passed a major hurdle today. Reuters reports that the Federal Trade Commission has given its approval for the deal to go through. This means that the FTC doesn't see any anti-trust violations for Microsoft to purchase the Internet phone company Skype.
Microsoft announced its plans to purchase the company on May 10 to the tune of $8.5 billion in cash. Since the deal was first announced there have been some brief outages on the Skype network. There was even an instance of a third party program that was being installed on some PCs via Skype. Some of its users have tried to blame Microsoft but of course these outages actually occurred before the acquisition became official. With the FTC's approval the deal should be able to close any day now.
As we reported last May 10, the deal will turn Skype into a new division at Microsoft with current CEO Skype Tony Bates turning into the new president of the division. He will report directly to Microsoft's CEP Steve Ballmer. Microsoft said at the time that Skype will be used in a number of Microsoft products including "Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities." Microsoft will also continue to support and expand the use of Skype on other non-Microsoft platforms and devices. Indeed there are rumors that there will be Skype support for Sony's upcoming portable game console the PS Vita.