#Microsoft #LinkedIn – Salesforce: Microsoft, LinkedIn Deal Threatens Innovation : Salesforce.com is urging European regulators to block Microsoft’s $26.2 billion takeover of LinkedIn because the deal will hurt competition by giving Redmond too much control over LinkedIn’s data.
“Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition,” Burke Norton, chief legal officer of 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 remarks came in response to a European Commission questionnaire asking third-party companies-including rivals like Salesforce-to reflect on prospective takeovers.
“Salesforce believes this raises significant antitrust and data privacy issues that need to be fully scrutinized by competition and data privacy authorities in the United States and in the European Union,” Norton said. “We intend to work closely with regulators, lawmakers and other stakeholders to make the case that this merger is anticompetitive.”
Perhaps it’s a bit of sour grapes? Salesforce was reportedly among those vying to acquire LinkedIn. Once the deal goes through, LinkedIn will retain its brand and CEO Jeff Weiner will report to Redmond CEO Satya Nadella.
The deal has not yet been submitted to the EU for regulatory approval, Bloomberg reports. Microsoft is scheduled to do so by November; the transaction is expected to close this calendar year. Salesforce’s protests do not necessarily mean the EU will open an investigation, which could add months to negotiations.
The European Commission for Competition is “exploring whether we need to start looking at mergers with valuable data involved, even though the company that owns it doesn’t have a large turnover,” chief Margrethe Vestager said during a Thursday speech.
“We can show people that companies that use big data have to follow the rules. So I will keep a close eye on how companies use data,” she continued. “I’m sure that the European Data Protection Supervisor and BEUC will do the same. And between us, I’m convinced that we can make big data not a threat, but the key to a better future.”