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Microsoft’s proposed $8.5 billion deal to purchase Skype has won antitrust approval, the Federal Trade Commission announced today.

The news means that Microsoft is one step closer to finalizing its Skype purchase, barring any other unforeseen difficulties. Microsoft previously said that it expects to close the Skype deal by the end of the year. Given Skype’s recent string of outages, the sooner Microsoft can help out the video chat company, the better.

And once Microsoft gets Skype’s architecture problems worked out, it can begin working on integrating the service into the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Office programs.

As I’ve written previously, there’s no doubt that the video chat company has a lot to gain from Microsoft. For one, it won’t have to worry much about its revenue problems anymore. Plus, Skype will finally be able to bring on more developers to polish its software — recent updates have added some cool features like group video chat, but the software has also gotten slower and more difficult to use in the process.

Via Reuters

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