- The European Commission officially cleared Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn Tuesday, marking the last regulatory approval required to complete the purchase. The deal will close in the next few days, according to Microsoft.
- Microsoft had previously received approval from the U.S., Canada, Brazil and South Africa, but was briefly stalled by the EU commission, which had antitrust concerns. As a result, the company had to make a number of concessions, some of which the company outlined in a blog post Tuesday.
- Among other things, for the next five years the company will continue to allow third-party professional networking services to also use its Office Add-in program. That lets developers integrate services into Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel. If the company develops a LinkedIn app or "tile" for its Windows PCs, it won't force PC manufacturers to install it on computers in the European Economic Arena; and IT admins and users can choose whether they display LinkedIn profile and activity information.
Well, Salesforce fought a good fight. The CRM company doggedly fought Microsoft's $26.2 billion LinkedIn acquisition, citing antitrust concerns and worry about what the enterprise giant will do with all that data. But after regulatory approval from around the globe and concerted efforts to offer concessions to the EU, the deal's closure seemed certain.
So, what's next? On the horizon is integration intended to boost the user experience. Now, mixed in with Office capabilities, users will likely see additional profile information of those they are interacting with. This comes at a time when Microsoft is trying to reshape how employees interact trough its launch of Microsoft Teams.
As part of the Teams launch, Microsoft touted the full integration with Office 365, a selling point for customers already in its systems. LinkedIn could act in a similar way over time, with full integration offering intuitive information at the user's fingertips.