Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates announce their deal in May 2011.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates announce their deal in May 2011.

Microsoft no longer has the threat of yet another European antitrust case hanging over it.

According to a report by Reuters, the General Court of the European Union ruled that Microsoft’s purchase of Skype in 2011 does not require any further antitrust remedies, following a suit brought by Cisco Systems.

Cisco originally filed the suit because it said it feared Microsoft would use the Skype acquisition to control the video conferencing space, and hoped that the EU would impose additional conditions on the deal, especially requiring Microsoft to allow Skype users to call people using other videoconferencing software.

Still, it seems like that argument didn’t fly with the court.

“Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype is compatible with the (European Union’s) internal market,” the judges said in their ruling, according to Reuters. “The merger does not restrict competition either on the consumer video communications market or on the business video communications market.”

The ruling also mentioned Cisco’s significant existing share of the enterprise videoconferencing market as another reason not to impose additional restrictions on Microsoft.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype could threaten the company’s business, since Cisco offers videoconferencing solutions for the enterprise, but those come with significant hardware costs, while Skype can work for anyone with a webcam.

“Cisco is disappointed that the court did not require the Commission to revisit inter-operability requirements for the Microsoft/Skype merger,” Cisco spokeswoman Alison Stokes told Reuters. “However we remain committed to inter-operability and will continue to work to make video calling as easy as making a phone call or sending an email.”

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft was much happier with the ruling.

“People around the world love and use Skype to stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues. We are glad that the EU General Court has confirmed the Commission’s earlier decision,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in in email to GeekWire.

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Comments

  • Aliasgar Babat

    I personally feel that Skype being acquired by Microsoft will improve Skype`s performance much better. Alternatively, one can even try using RHUB`s web conferencing servers for conducting online meetings. It works well.

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