Cisco is to lodge a complaint with the European Commission over the takeover of Skype by Microsoft, claiming that the EC decision fails to insist that the combined company support open standards. The news comes as Microsoft's CFO announced plans to integrate the application across its product stack.
Cisco has stated it plans to appeal the EC's decision at the General Court of the European Union and ask that conditions be imposed on Microsoft.
Cisco is specifically concerned about how Microsoft intends to tie Skype and Lync, an enterprise product that provides IM, presence, video conferencing, IP telephony and online meetings. Cisco wants the EC to require that Microsoft and Skype support standards for interoperability with other collaboration platforms.
Microsoft CFO Peter Klein portrayed Skype, the ultra-popular IM, presence, video chat and IP telephony service, as a product that Microsoft will use to unify and extend both its consumer and enterprise portfolios.
"When you think about Skype and when you think about trying to deliver a compelling set of experiences across devices, the most fundamental experience across devices is communications," he said. "Skype extends that across all of our assets, whether it's with Lync in the enterprise, or with Xbox Live. It's something that really ties together all of our devices, a scenario that's as universal as any."
Microsoft has said in the past that it intends to create a bridge between the two products, so that Lync users can communicate with Skype users, including business partners and customers.
Klein also said Skype plays a key role in Microsoft's strategy for cloud services. "If you think about how the world is evolving and our approach to it, we think about it in terms of devices and services, and certainly a lot of the services are cloud services," he said.
"What's really exciting about Skype is that it's a really compelling and popular service people around the world use and are very engaged with. If you think about our approach to developing and delivering a set of really compelling experiences and services across a range of devices, Skype absolutely accelerates what we're doing there," Klein said.
When Microsoft announced its Skype acquisition last May, CEO Steve Ballmer pledged to continue support for "non-Microsoft devices."
In a statement, Microsoft said: "The European Commission conducted a thorough investigation of the acquisition, in which Cisco actively participated, and approved the deal in a 36 page decision without any conditions. We're confident the Commission's decision will stand up on appeal."