Microsoft Skype

Cisco will appeal the European Commission's decision to approve Microsoft's planned $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype. Cisco, a competitor that offers its own video-calling software and products, is arguing that Microsoft could have a monopoly on the video calling market if the European Commission allows the deal to go through.

"For the sake of customers, the industry recognizes the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco products, as well as products from other unified communications innovators," Cisco's Senior Vice President, Emerging Business Group Marthin De Beer said in a blog post. "Microsoft's plans to integrate Skype exclusively with its Lync Enterprise Communications Platform could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype's 700 million account holders to a Microsoft-only platform."

De Beer asked consumers to imagine if they were limited only making phone calls to those on the same carrier and said the deal would be the equivalent to such a scenario. "Cisco wants to avoid this future for video communications, and therefore today appealed the European Commission's approval of the Microsoft/Skype merger to the General Court of the European Union," he said. European VoIP service provider Messagenet also filed an appeal against the purchase.

"The European Commission conducted a thorough investigation of the acquisition, in which Cisco actively participated, and approved the deal in a 36-page decision without any conditions," Microsoft said in a statement obtained by the Financial Times. "We're confident the Commission's decision will stand up on appeal."

[via Financial Times]