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Cisco Systems Inc loses court challenge to Microsoft Corp's takeover of Skype-Reuters

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 04:53pm EST 

Microsoft Corp:Microsoft fended off a challenge to its $8.5 bln takeover of messaging service Skype as Europe's second-highest court ruled against claims by rival Cisco Systems Inc that the 2011 deal would harm competition-Reuters.The decision on Dec. 11 means Microsoft can continue to market Skype's video calls to consumers and businesses without making any concessions to Cisco or others offering similar products.Cisco's concern about the Skype deal stems from the fact it sells more expensive hardware to help companies with video conferencing, while Microsoft's alternative, based on Skype, can do much the same via a computer equipped with a webcam.The Luxembourg-based General Court said Cisco had failed to show that the takeover would harm competition.The court said Cisco's large share of the enterprise communications market and the existence of other rivals prevent Microsoft from impeding competition in this sector.To defend itself against Microsoft, Cisco had pushed for a common set of technology standards in video conferencing to make sure that products offered by different firms work together.The case is T-79/12 Cisco Systems and Messagenet SpA v Commission.