Networking technology giant Cisco has filed an appeal with the European Union (EU) over last October’s approval of Microsoft’s US$8,5bn acquisition of Skype.
Cisco, along with Italian voice-over-Internet Protocol provider Messagenet, is challenging the decision to approve the merger because the European Commission failed to place important conditions on the deal regarding interoperability of video communication. The main worry from Cisco is that Microsoft will exclusively integrate Skype’s video communication into its enterprise-level Lync video and voice communication software. Thus, consumers and businesses using competing software (like those offered by Cisco) wouldn’t be able to communicate.
“Imagine how difficult it would be if you were limited to calling people who only use the same carrier or if your phone could only call certain brands and not others. Cisco wants to avoid this future for video communications,” wrote Cisco senior vice-president of video and collaboration Marthin de Beer in a letter posted on the company blog. “We believe standards-based interoperability will accelerate innovation, create economic value, and increase choice for users of video communications, entertainment and services.”
And although Cisco may be sincere in its advocacy of open standards, the company was rumoured to have been unsuccessful in forming an agreement with Microsoft to provide interoperability between Cisco video services and Skype, according to an AllThingsD report. This might explain why Cisco has waited until now to voice its concern over the EU’s decision in October.
Cisco is, however, quick to point out that it doesn’t oppose the merger, but argues that tougher conditions are necessary to avoid any one company controlling all video communication standards. — Tom Cheredar, VentureBeat
- Image: VentureBeat
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