- Salesforce asked the European Union to look into potential antitrust issues in Microsoft's $26.2 billion proposed acquisition of LinkedIn, according to reports.
- "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," Burke Norton, chief legal officer at Salesforce, said in a statement.
- The company plans to make the case that Microsoft's proposed merger does not allow for business competition to regulators globally.
The issue is really all about data. Data is the new enterprise currency, and the fact that Microsoft will now have access to LinkedIn’s data on 450 million professionals has Salesforce concerned.
The deal must be reviewed by the European Union for regulatory approval, and Salesforce appears prepared to be a vocal opponent. The acquisition has already cleared regulatory approval in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft announced it had reached a deal to purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in June. At that time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the potential growth for LinkedIn and Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft's productivity suite is already the most popular web-based business application. Combined with the LinkedIn's vast professional network, Microsoft will have a major stake in most professionals' working lives. But the huge trove of data also has vast implications for Microsoft’s AI undertakings.