Cloud computing company Salesforce is reportedly trying to block the $26.2 billion Microsoft-LinkedIn deal, arguing that Microsoft’s acquisition of the enterprise social network LinkedIn will be anti-competitive.
According to a report in pcworld.com, Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton will take the company’s argument to the European Union’s anti-trust authorities.
“Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition,” Norton 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,” Norton added.
Salesforce – now rumoured to be in the race to buy micro-blogging website Twitter – was also in the fray to acquire LinkedIn.
After losing to Microsoft, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has showed his concerns over the deal, urging the Federal Trade Commission to “scrutinise Microsoft’s plans for LinkedIn”.
Microsoft President Brad Smith, however, said “the deal has already been cleared to close in the US, Canada, and Brazil,” Wall Street Journal reported.
In June, Microsoft announced to acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash deal, billed as one of the largest such pacts in the global social media space.
LinkedIn, which has nearly 10 per cent of its over 430 million users in India, will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence and Jeff Weiner will remain the chief executive of LinkedIn, reporting to his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella, the tech giant said in a statement.
The deal, expected to close within this year, works out to over $60 per LinkedIn user.
Microsoft will pay $196 per LinkedIn share — a 50 per cent premium to LinkedIn’s closing price on June 10.