EU clears Microsoft's Skype acquisition

Microsoft's purchase of Skype is given the go ahead in the EU.

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EU regulators have given the green light to Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of VoIP firm Skype.

The European Commission said that its investigation of the takeover showed that the firms' activities mainly overlapped for video communications, where Microsoft is active through its Windows Live Messenger.

"However, the Commission considers that there are no competition concerns in this growing market where numerous players, including Google, are present," it said in a statement.

"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."

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The deal is expected to lead to new customers for Microsoft's Windows and Office software.

The US Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal in June.

Software giant Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype back in May last year.

"Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive (CEO).

Tony Bates, Skype's CEO, is to look after the Skype division within Microsoft. He will report directly to Ballmer.

"Microsoft and Skype share the vision of bringing software innovation and products to our customers," he said.

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"Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype's plans to extend our global community and introduce new ways for everyone to communicate and collaborate."

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