Cisco, the networking company that many felt would be a great acquirer of Skype had looked at the VoIP and video conferencing company and declined because it couldn’t see a way to do a deal without upsetting its service provider customers, according to Cisco (s csco) CEO John Chambers. Chambers, who discussed the issue with a small group of reporters yesterday via Telepresence, said, “”We had a chance to make that acquisition a long time ago.”

Cisco, which is famous for its acquisition strategy, may have made a rare flub with Skype. But since Cisco passed on the deal it’s still trying to exert some influence over Skype and its new owner Microsoft (s msft), via the European Union. Last week Cisco asked the EU to block the Microsoft-Skype merger. At the time Om wrote:

The company that once championed SIP and sold expensive PBX gear and expensive handsets…

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