LONDON Microsoft is set to win EU approval for its planned $8.5 billion acquisition of online telephone service Skype, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The newspaper said Joaquin Almunia, the EU competition commissioner, is to give the green light to the proposed deal despite complaints from would-be rivals to block any anti-competitive bundling of Microsoft's Windows software with the Internet phone service.
The EU is set to clear the takeover without any remedies and without any in-depth, second phase investigation, according to the FT.
Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, its biggest-ever, would enable the software company's new Windows Phones to compete directly with Google and Apple smartphones which already feature video chat.
The deal was approved by U.S. antitrust regulators in June. EU approval was one of the remaining regulatory hurdles in the way of finalizing the deal.
(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Gary Hill)