American tech behemoth Microsoft has decided that getting EU approval for its LinkedIn acquisition is worth indulging in healthy competition practices. The company will allow LinkedIn’s rivals access to its software and give hardware makers the option of installing other services. These concessions have already been submitted to the EU and the commission overseeing this acquisition will give its ruling by the 6th of December.
After the EU competition enforcer expressed concerns about the $26 billion deal involving LinkedIn, which is also Microsoft’s biggest ever acquisition, the Redmond giant finally submitted its LinkedIn concessions to the European Commission last week.
According to sources, Microsoft in its submission to the regulatory body, has expressly stated that it is not going to favor LinkedIn at the expense of any rival. However, both the European Commission and Microsoft, have currently declined to comment on the submission.
Meanwhile, the EU is seeking feedback from LinkedIn rivals and customers before taking a decision upon whether to accept the concessions, demand more or even start an investigation. The last outcome would be the worst as it could potentially stall the deal for up to five months. The Commission has decided to announce a decision by the 6th of December, 2016.
According to the same sources which provided the previous information on the deal, even after LinkedIn becomes part of Microsoft, other professional social networks which have access to Microsoft’s API, will continue to have this privilege. Microsoft’s concession also stated that computer hardware makers will be free to install either LinkedIn or its rival networks on computers running the Windows OS.
According to Microsoft’s website, the company has software deals with hardware makers such as Dell, HP Lenovo Acer and Huawei, among others.
The European Commission has fined the software giant more than 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) over the past 10 years for many infringements — such as when Microsoft tied some products to its Windows operating system, leading to stifled competition.
LinkedIn generates a huge part of its $3 billion annual revenue from job hunters and recruiters who pay a monthly fee to post their resumes and connect with people. Tying it up with Microsoft’s operating systems and forcing OEMs to install it might have given that revenue a boost. However, the EU is not in a very generous mood of late and Microsoft probably thought it better to toe the line where the regulatory body is concerned.