EUROCRATS HAVE APPROVED Microsoft's purchase of the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) communications firm Skype.
The European Commission approved the buyout under EU merger regulations, because it "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area".
A statement from the EC said that the two businesses overlapped in their activities, explaining that Microsoft's Live Messenger already gave the firm a standing in the marketplace. It added that with big hitting firms such as Google also in the market, it had no major competition concerns.
"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 said.
Microsoft already has approval for the deal in the US, where it was given the go-ahead by regulators in June.
"We're pleased that the European Commission has approved Microsoft's acquisition of Skype. This is an important milestone, as we've now received clearance from both the United States and the European Union," said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel and EVP.
"We look forward to completing soon the final steps needed to close the acquisition, bringing together the employees of Microsoft and Skype, and creating new opportunities for people to communicate and collaborate around the world." µ