It's been nearly five months since Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, so why hasn't it happened yet? For the simple reason of waiting for regulatory approval. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the merger back in June, and now so have regulators from the European Union who determined the deal "would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area."
The Commission pointed out that the two businesses overlapped in their activities with Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger giving the Redmond software giant a presence in the industry.
"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," Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Microsoft, said in a statement. "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."
Microsoft's has big plans for Skype, which it will integrate into several existing products and services, including Windows, Office, Xbox Live, and Windows Phone.