Microsoft’s LinkedIn deal is going to be the company’s biggest in its decades long history. As is the case with most deals of this scale, regulatory bodies have been voicing complaints over its effects on competition and innovation. Seeking to allay the European Union’s concerns on the matter, the Redmond giant has offered concessions after EU competition officer Margrethe Vestager voiced them in a meeting with Microsoft executives last week.
In June 2016, Microsoft expressed its intentions to buy LinkedIn. The company wants the professional networking platform to continue independently with Jeff Weiner continuing as CEO. Assuming that Microsoft is succesful in obtaining thumbs up from all the regulatory bodies that need to concern themselves with the matter, it will be the company’s largest acquisition ever.
Microsoft has already applied for and obtained the required approvals from authorities in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. However, it only applied for one from the EU near mid-October. While the reasons for the same remains unknown, EU’s stance with regards to tech behemoths has been intimidating lately — to say the least. Just ask Google, or Apple.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has made concessions to the EU after the latter’s competition enforcer expressed concerns in a meeting with Microsoft executives. While the company hopes that it will be able to make the EU ruling that is slated for December 6 lean in its favor, it is too early to be certain. EU is also expected to take feedback from the company’s rivals and customers alike, before passing its judgment on the deal.
Certainly, rivals are not going to be too pleased at the prospect of one of the world’s most important tech company teaming up with the recruiting platform. SalesForce for example, which lost to Microsoft in the bid to acquire LinkedIn, has already urged regulators to consider the matter before them carefully — warning them that such a deal may hurt competition. It certainly won’t help SalesForce’s own prospects — considering that Microsoft fully intends to use the vast trove of data in LinkedIn’s possession to bolster its own dynamics CRM.
Meanwhile, we will probably have to wait till the 6th of December to know more about the EU’s stance on the matter.