Partnerships / Acquisitions

Salesforce Pushes Regulators To Eye Microsoft-LinkedIn Deal

Salesforce Calls Out Microsoft-LinkedIn Deal

After losing out on its bid to acquire LinkedIn, Salesforce is urging regulators to take a closer look at Microsoft’s purchase of the social networking site, Bloomberg reported on Thursday (Sept. 29).

Salesforce is said to believe that the Microsoft-LinkedIn deal poses a threat to both privacy and competition.

“Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition,” Burke Norton, chief legal officer at Salesforce, said in a statement.

“By gaining ownership of LinkedIn’s unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny competitors access to that data and, in doing so, obtain an unfair competitive advantage.”

The company will plan to alert U.S. and European antitrust officials to its concerns in hopes that an investigation will be launched.

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion stands as the company’s largest to date. Though the deal was cleared by U.S. regulators, it has yet to be approved by regulators in the EU.

“The deal has already been cleared to close in the United States, Canada and Brazil,” Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith explained. “We’re committed to continue working to bring price competition to a CRM market in which Salesforce is the dominant participant charging customers higher prices today.”

Under the terms of the acquisition, LinkedIn will remain its own brand, and Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn. He will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Both Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, cofounder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner supported the decision.

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Weiner said earlier this year. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”


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