Skype can be classed as a telecom operator, the European Court of Justice has ruled

Microsoft’s internet phone call and messaging service Skype can be considered a telecoms operator as it offers a paid-for service and has a deal with network operators to carry calls, Europe’s top court said

Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay

The ECJ had been asked for guidance by a Belgian court and the Belgian Institute of Postal and Telecommunications Service on whether Skype’s SkypeOut service, which lets users call fixed or mobile landlines from a computer for a fee, should be regulated in the same way as traditional telecom operators.


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Skype contested that as it does not transmit signals itself or provide any electronic communications services that it was not subject to the same regulations.

Europe’s top court disagreed with the Microsoft-owned network and found against it. Microsoft subsequently said that it will comply with the ruling. The tech giant will now have to bring Skype in line with the provisions of the European Electronic Communications Code, which was adopted by the European Commission two years ago to regulate Skype, WhatsApp and other similar VOIP services.

European Union countries have until the end of next year to implement its rules.


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