. Space Industry and Business News .

Cisco appeals EU's Microsoft-Skype merger approval
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 15, 2012

US networking giant Cisco appealed on Wednesday against the European Commission's approval of Microsoft's $8.5 billion takeover of Internet voice and video leader Skype.

Cisco senior vice president Marthin De Beer said in a blog post that Cisco does not oppose the merger but the Commission should have required greater interoperability between video-calling systems.

Cisco is a leading provider of video conferencing systems and a source close to the company told the TechCrunch technology blog that the appeal was filed after Cisco and Microsoft failed to reach an agreement on common standards.

Messagenet, a European Internet communications service provider, has joined Cisco in the appeal.

"This appeal is about one thing only: securing standards-based interoperability in the video calling space," De Beer said. "Our goal is to make video-calling as easy and seamless as email is today.

"Cisco does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability," De Beer said.

This was necessary, the Cisco executive said, "to avoid any one company from being able to seek to control the future of video communications.

"Making a video-to-video call should be as easy as dialing a phone number," he said. "Today, however, you can't make seamless video calls from one platform to another, much to the frustration of consumers and business users alike.

"Cisco believes that the right approach for the industry is to rally around open standards," he said.

"For the sake of customers, the industry recognizes the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco products, as well as products from other unified communications innovators," De Beer said.

The European Commission approved Microsoft's takeover of Skype in October and the deal gained US approval in June.

Microsoft said it did not expected the European Commission to go back on its decision.

"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," a Microsoft spokesman said.

"We're confident the Commission's decision will stand up on appeal," the spokesman said.

Cisco was reportedly among the buyers interested in Skype, which was founded in 2003 and acquired by online auction giant eBay in September 2005.

Skype was sold to an investment group led by Silver Lake in November 2009 in a deal that valued the company at $2.75 billion, and was bought by Microsoft in May.

Skype users can make low-cost or free phone calls over the Internet using their computers or smartphones. Skype bypasses the standard telephone network by channeling voice and video calls over the Web.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Google tightens grip on smartphone wallets
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 15, 2012 - Google on Wednesday assured users of its smartphone wallets that the mobile-age technology thwarts thieves better than old-school cash or credit cards.

"Mobile payments are going to become more common in the coming years, and we will learn much more as we continue to develop Google Wallet," Google payments vice president Osama Bedier said in a blog post.

"In the meantime, you can be confident that the digital wallet you carry provides defenses that plastic and leather simply don't."

A Google Wallet feature that lets people load prepaid card information in smartphones for spending was re-activated this week after being shut off for a few days to fix a potential security vulnerability.

"While we're not aware of any abuse of prepaid cards or the Wallet PIN resulting from these recent reports, we took this step as a precaution to ensure the security of our Wallet customers," Bedier said.

The action from Google came after a Zvelo Labs researcher demonstrated software that quickly figures out a Wallet personal identification number (PIN), provided the crook has the smartphone.

The researcher dismissed the threat of hackers picking Google Wallets remotely, explaining that physical access is needed to get priority access to controls in a process called "rooting."

Security specialists advise Google Wallet to enable security features such as full-disk encryption and screen locks.

Google Wallet is available only on Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus smartphones. Google plans to expand the feature to more Android phones.

Google Wallet uses a near field communication chip embedded in a phone to allow a user to "tap-and-pay" for purchases at a checkout register equipped with the PayPass system from CitiMasterCard.

Customers can also use a Google Prepaid card to pay for purchases, topping up the Google card with any payment card, and take advantage of Google Offers, the Mountain View, California-based company's online discount coupon program.

In addition to allowing for mobile payments, Google Wallet allows consumers to pay using gift cards and to redeem promotions such as discounts or coupons.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Apple chief says factory labor under scrutiny
San Francisco (AFP) Feb 14, 2012
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Tuesday that ensuring safe working conditions at plants making its coveted gadgets is a priority, as an audit of a key supplier continued in China. "Apple takes working conditions very seriously and we have for a very long time," Cook said during an on-stage interview at a Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. "We know peop ... read more

Lockheed Martin-Built Milstar Satellite Surpasses 10-Year On-Orbit Design Life

Space debris in the spotlight

A mineral way to catalysis?

Cisco appeals EU's Microsoft-Skype merger approval

Harris wins follow-on Aussie radio deal

ILS Proton Successfully Launches SES-4

ESA's new Vega launcher scores success on maiden flight

Europe delighted as new rocket notches up success

NASA Seeks Game Changing Technology Payloads for Suborbital Research Flights

US regulators pull plug on LightSquared

GIS Technology Plays Important Role to Map Disease and Health Trends

GPS court ruling leaves US phone tracking unclear

Russia May Spend Almost $12 bln on Glonass in 2012-2020

India, China attack EU on airline carbon tax

Aviation industry warns of trade war over EU carbon tax

London Heathrow suffers monthly drop in China traffic: BAA

Boeing's Dreamliner takes spotlight in Singapore

Intel to pay $6.5 million, ending anti-trust suit

NASA Scientist and Education Award Winner Leads Student Phytoplankton Study

3-D Map Study Shows Before-After of 2010 Mexico Quake

Spaceborne Precipitation Radar Ships from Japan to U.S.

Infrared Sounder on NASA's Suomi NPP Starts its Mission

Even moderate air pollution can raise stroke risks

Domestic consumption main contributor to Africa's growing E-waste

Beijing tackles air pollution

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement