Microsoft will allow LinkedIn's competitors access to its software and give hardware makers the option of installing other services as part of the concessions the company is offering the European Union, Reuters sources told the publication on Monday. The move is to help garner approval for its LinkedIn bid.
One of the concessions reportedly indicates that professional social networks that have access to Microsoft's API will continue to have such access once LinkedIn becomes part of Microsoft, sources said. Microsoft will also "allow computer hardware makers to install either LinkedIn or rival networks on computers."
With the concessions, Microsoft wants to avoid any suggestion that its packaging products to stifle competitors, and that it won’t favor LinkedIn at the expense of rivals, Reuters sources said. Neither the European Commission or Microsoft have offered any details or comments.
Microsoft submitted the concessions to the European Commission last week after an EU antitrust regulator indicated it had apprehensions about the deal.
Microsoft announced its plans to purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in June and antitrust regulators in the United States, Canada and Brazil have already approved the deal. The EU is the last major approval required for completion of the deal. But the EU has taken a stronger stance on data privacy and anti-competitive practice complaints over the last several years.
The EU is now looking to Microsoft competitors and customers for input before determining whether they will accept the concessions or open a potentially lengthy investigation.