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Cisco EU Court Appeal of Microsoft-Skype Approval Set for May 29

Cisco Systems Inc., the largest maker of computer-networking equipment, will have its appeal against the European Union’s approval of Microsoft Corp.’s $8.5 billion takeover of Skype Technologies SA heard by an EU court this month.

The EU General Court, the bloc’s second-highest tribunal, scheduled an oral hearing in the case for May 29, according to its updated diary today. Cisco, in its appeal filed with the court last year, is arguing the European Commission should have required Microsoft to use open standards for video communications to allow rival products to work smoothly with Skype before it authorized the deal.

Microsoft won unconditional approval from the commission, the EU’s antitrust agency, in October 2011 to buy Skype, the world’s most popular international calling service. EU regulators said the deal wouldn’t harm competition for video communications services because the market was growing and they faced “numerous players, including Google.”

The case is: T-79/12, Cisco Systems and Messagenet v. Commission.

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