The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Friday that it the U.S. Department of Justice cleared Microsoft to buy Skype.
Reuters said that the FTC made note of the approval in a Web site posting on June 17.
Update (June 20): It actually wasn't the FTC that approved the Skype purchase. It was the U.S. Department of Justice. The FTC filing on Friday was simply notation of the DOJ approval.
I asked Microsoft officials whether they're still awaiting additional antitrust approval before moving forward with the acquisition. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comment. But I'd expect Microsoft would still need approval in other geographic jurisdictions before the deal gets final approval.
Microsoft announced intentions to buy VOIP/video provider Skype on May 10 for $8.5 billion in cash. Officials said they were counting on the deal to secure regulatory approval before the end of calendar 2011. Microsoft is planning to make Skype a separate business division, officials said.
Microsoft is planning to integrate Skype with a variety of its consumer and business products once the deal receives regulatory approval, officials have said. Microsoft execs have said that Skype integration makes sense with everything from its Lync unified communications server/service and Hotmail, to Xbox and Kinect.
Microsoft officials said they originally had been thinking about partnering with Skype, but decided in late March/early April to make an unsolicited bid for Skype instead. Microsoft officials said the price was finalized on April 18 The deal was signed on May 9.
Originally, there were reports that Microsoft was seeking to outbid other Skype suitors, but that later seemed not to be the case.