September 30, 2016

SalesForce to obstruct Microsoft’s LinkedIn deal

Salesforce states that Microsoft’s control over LinkedIn’s data would break competition laws

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced their $26.2 billion deal to acquire LinkedIn. Salesforce, however, is seeking to throw a spanner in the works.

SalesForce is reportedly trying to convince the European Union to block the deal. Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton will argue to the EU’s competition authority that Microsoft’s control of LinkedIn’s data would be anti-competitive.

EU’s Competition Chief Margarethe Vestager said in January that her agency would be looking directly at whether a company’s use of data is bad for competition and these complaints seem like they have been aimed directly at those comments.

Burke Norton said :

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition.

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.

Both, SalesForce and Microsoft were bidding for LinkedIn and Microsoft won out. Since then, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been seen taking shots at Microsoft over the deal.

Microsoft’s President Brad Smith said :

The deal has already been cleared to close in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

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.

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