Cisco Says MS-Skype Needs Tougher Oversight – Appeals EU Approval

Posted by at 12:53 pm on February 15, 2012

Cisco has posted a formal appeal of the EU approval for Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. The networking giant accepted the merger on a basic level, but it wanted the European Commission to have imposed interoperability requirements. Making Microsoft adhere to standards would prevent it from trying to “control the future of video communications,” Cisco said.

As part of the earlier approval, the Commission had stated that it didn’t see there being competitive issues with the merger. Google Talk and other alternatives were believed enough to keep Microsoft honest.

As a company known for its video teleconferencing, Cisco has a vested interest in keeping Skype on other platforms or of guaranteeing that its own option won’t be excluded from Windows or Windows Phone. Microsoft in announcing the $8.5 billion deal was adamant that it would at least write native apps for the Mac, iOS, Android, and other competing operating systems, but it didn’t make guarantees that they would be timely or that feature sets would be the same.

EU officials haven’t responded directly to the appeal.

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