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Skype Registers Telecoms Service After Losing EU Case

Microsoft’s Skype formally registered itself as an electronic communication service provider with Dutch authorities in the wake of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision made earlier this year.

In June the ECJ ruled the company’s SkypeOut service, which enables calls from PCs to mobile and fixed numbers, was technically an electronic communications service (ECS) and fell under the remit of telecoms regulators across Europe.

It defined an ECS as a paid-for service able to terminate calls to public networks.

Skype had argued it was a solely a software provider as it did not transmit signals itself and fell under different rules. The case was brought by Belgian regulators, which had attempted to fine Skype for failing to report to it.

As a result of losing the case, Skype has registered with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) for oversight and will be subject to more stringent rules. The authority previously levied a fine on Skype which has now been revoked.

In its statement, ACM board member Henk Don said the ruling showed services such as SkypeOut must comply with rules set out to other providers in the Telecommunications Act, adding: “We call on parties to report to us if they offer a similar service.”―Mobile World Live

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