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EU approves Microsoft – Skype deal

Microsoft has won approval  from European regulators to buy the internet phone service Skype for $8.5 billion.

Microsoft already had been cleared by U.S. antitrust regulators to complete its deal to buy Skype Global. So the EU approval seems like a pretty good bet.

The Commission considers that there are no competition concerns in this growing market where numerous players, including Google, are present.

“This is an important milestone, as we’ve now received clearance from both the United States and the European Union,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general council, said in a statement. “We look forward to completing soon the final steps needed to close the acquisition.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has pledged that, under Microsoft, Skype would continue to support Google’s Android and Apple’s Mac OS X platforms.

Microsoft is buying the European-based internet calling service from an investor group led by Silver Lake that included eBay Inc.

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