The European Commission (EC) has approved Cisco’s acquisition of videoconferencing firm Tandberg, with some conditions.The EC’s competition ministers said that they had agreed to the business merger on the condition that Cisco makes a videoconferencing protocol available. By divesting itself of the protocol, called TelePresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP), Cisco will be removing "serious competition concerns", the EC said."The remedies package offered by Cisco is suitable to safeguard competition in the market for video communications where the merged entity will have a strong presence,” said vice-president for competition Joaquín Almunia. "I'm also satisfied with the overall review process that was carried out in close co-operation with the US Department of Justice." Under the EC’s ruling, Cisco will divest the rights associated with its TIP protocol to an independent body.The deal still requires approval in Brazil, but now that it has the green light from the EC and US Cisco is confident that it will close in the coming weeks."We appreciate the thorough and efficient manner in which the Justice Department and the European Commission conducted their review of this transaction," said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Business Group."Our commitments will promote multi-vendor interoperability and contribute to the ubiquity of video communications, which will benefit customers, competitors and the industry as a whole."
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