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Salesforce.com Aims to Block Microsoft From Buying LinkedIn

By valerie gentallan , Oct 03, 2016 08:57 PM EDT
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Salesforce.com, which is rumored to buy Twitter, aims to block Microsoft from closing its $26.2 billion deal with LinkedIn.

Burke Norton, Salesforce Chief Legal Officer, said he will bring the argument to the European Union's anti-trust authorities, stating that Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition. 

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff also urges the Federal Trade Commission to check on Microsoft's plans for the social networking site for professtionals. 

He also added that with the acquisition, Microsoft will deny competitors from accessing data on LinkedIn, which has a user base of over 450 million professionals worldwide, and thus, obtain an unfair advantage against rivals.

Microsoft is set to close the deal and will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, which translates to a 50 percent premium to LinkedIn's closing price on June 10. Jeff Wenner, LinkedIn's chief executive, will keep his position, and will report to his Microsoft counterpart, Satya Nadella. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence in the market.

Venture Beat reporter Chris O'Brien noted in his article that purchasing LinkedIn could be a disaster. He noted that LinkedIn's value and attractiveness has declined; it shares, in fact, dropped by 40 percent in February. 

Forbes.com contributor Peter Cohan meanwhile stated that Microsoft wasted $26.2 billion in its acquisition with LinkedIn.

Microsoft, which has been "frenemies" with Salesforce, has been rumored to have offered to buy the latter the past year. The two have not given any comment on the issue.

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