Microsoft dismisses Saleforce’s claims of an anticompetitive LinkedIn purchase

#Microsoft #LinkedInMicrosoft dismisses Saleforce’s claims of an anticompetitive LinkedIn purchase : It has been a few months since Microsoft announced plans to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, and it seems that losing bidder Saleforce is still nursing a bloody nose.

Saleforce CEO Marc Benioff is complaining that there are antitrust concerns and is calling on regulators to block the purchase. Having lost a bidding war with Microsoft – despite offering more money – Salesforce now appears hell-bent on messing things up for the company.

Salesforce’s chief legal officer, Burke Norton, has also voiced concerns that Microsoft could block access to user data to rivals. Microsoft says that this is nonsense, stressing that the deal has almost reached its conclusion.

Norton issued a statement in which he says: “Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition”. Salesforce clearly has concerns.

It is a dominant player in the CRM market, and the ownership of LinkedIn would have been an important addition to its arsenal. Microsoft’s access to LinkedIn data does mean that it could become a Salesforce rival, but this in itself does not make the deal anticompetitive.

Microsoft’s chief legal officer Brad Smith said in response:

Salesforce may not be aware, but the deal has already been cleared to close in the United States, Canada, and Brazil. We’re committed to continuing to work to bring price competition to a CRM market in which Salesforce is the dominant participant charging customers higher prices today.

Microsoft is clearly no stranger to anticompetition and antitrust legislation, but it’s hard to get away from the feeling that Salesforce’s complaints are little more than sour grapes.

After all, as the Wall Street Journal points out: “Salesforce’s contention that Microsoft might deny competitors access to LinkedIn’s data would have applied equally to Salesforce if it had been successful in its effort to acquire the network”. Source: betanews

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