Cisco chief executive John Chambers has claimed that Microsoft's acquisition of Skype will "damage the industry" by stifling fair competition, should the deal pass without any concessions.
The networking giant recently lodged an appeal with an EU court seeking to ensure that Microsoft has to make its new addition's technology interoperable with rival players. Chambers told CRN that he is not opposed to the acquisition, but asserted that, given Microsoft's "huge proprietary strength, [it] ought to have to open up".
"Microsoft asked the same of us with our acquisition of Tandberg," he added. "[The Skype acquisition] will not just [affect] our large peers, but the smaller players too. It damages competition and creates unfair advantages."
And the Cisco big cheese went on to outline that, for him, "interoperability does not mean five or six clicks - it means one click". He opined that, in hindsight, US regulators may feel they "might have done something different". Chambers concluded that, if the deal goes ahead unaltered, it may hamper Cisco and its large rivals, but could really hurt smaller vendors.
"This [deal] does damage the industry, and I think the regulators ought to take a hard look," he said. "Cisco will be fine anyway, but it will damage our capability to serve our customers, and it will damage the smaller players."
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