March 12 The French telecoms regulator ARCEP
said it had asked prosecutors to investigate Microsoft Corp's
Skype for failing to register as a telecom operator.
Skype has not complied with the regulator's repeated
requests to register as an "electronic communications operator",
ARCEP said in a statement on Tuesday.
The regulator said that since Skype let users make voice
calls to fixed and mobile numbers in France and around the
world, it had an obligation to allow emergency calls and permit
legal interception of calls when required.
Voice over Internet players like Skype offer calls for free
or at a fraction of the cost charged by traditional telecom
operators and have been growing rapidly in recent years.
European telecoms companies have had to deal with shrinking
mobile bills as consumers switched from voice calls to apps such
as Skype, What's App and Viber, which let them communicate for
free using their mobile data plans.
Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.