EU approves Microsoft's Skype takeover

Oct 07, 2011
A Microsoft and Skype sign hangs on stage in May 2011 in San Francisco, California. European anti-trust officials approved on Friday US technology giant Microsoft's $8.5-billion takeover of Internet voice and video leader Skype.

European anti-trust officials approved on Friday US technology giant Microsoft's $8.5-billion takeover of Internet voice and video leader Skype.

"The deal would not significantly impede effective competition across the single European market" of half a billion consumers, the European Commission said in a statement.

Microsoft's purchase is aimed at boosting its presence in an online arena dominated by Google and Facebook, both of whom were also believed to have been interested in alongside computing giant Cisco.

Skype users can make low-cost or free phone calls over the Internet using their computers or smartphones. Skype bypasses the standard telephone network by channelling voice and video calls over the Web.

One of the top applications on Apple's iPhone and on smartphones powered by Google's Android software, Skype has some 170 million users who will now be able to "Skype" using Windows-powered phones or even Xbox .

"In the area of consumer communications, the investigation found that the parties' activities mainly overlap for , where Microsoft is active through its Windows Live Messenger," the European Union executive said.

"However, the Commission considers that there are no competition concerns in this growing market where numerous players, including , 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," it added.

Skype was founded in 2003 and acquired by online auction giant in September 2005. It was sold to an investment group led by Silver Lake in November 2009 in a deal that valued the company at $2.75 billion.

Microsoft's biggest acquisition until now had been its 2007 buy of firm aQuantive for $6.3 billion. Microsoft unsuccessfully tried to buy Yahoo! in 2008 for $47.5 billion.

Explore further: US newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6 pct in 2013

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Skype scrambles after service trouble

May 26, 2011

Skype on Thursday was scrambling to fix a problem that caused the globally popular Internet telephone service to be inaccessible for a "small number" of users.

Report: Microsoft near deal to buy Skype

May 10, 2011

Microsoft Corp. is nearing a deal to buy the popular Internet telephone service Skype in what could be the biggest deal in the software maker's 36-year history, according to a published report.

Recommended for you

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

5 hours ago

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

A2G
1 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2011
I love Skype and use it everyday. I only hope that the new owners do not cave the the governments and give the keys away so that they can listen in when ever they want to.
fixer
not rated yet Oct 07, 2011
Let's hope they include a tool to change the Skype ringtone for android phones, you can't hear it!
Hev
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
Bad news. This means that in future, before we can talk to anyone, shall have to wait half an hour for the updates and antivirus.

More news stories

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...