Salesforce Urges EU to Probe Microsoft, LinkedIn Antitrust Issues

September 29, 2016, 8:54 PM UTC
Key Speakers At Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity
Marc Benioff, chief executive officer of Inc., speaks during a panel session at the Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity in Cannes, France, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The advertising industry's largest annual gathering runs from June 21 to June 27. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. software company Salesforce called on EU regulators on Thursday to investigate antitrust issues related to Microsoft’s $26 billion bid for social network LinkedIn.

Microsoft is expected to seek EU antitrust approval in the coming weeks for its largest ever deal.

Salesforce (CRM), which lost out on the bidding for LinkedIn (LNKD), urged competition authorities to go beyond a simple review, saying the deal threatens innovation and competition.

“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, Salesforce’s chief legal officer, said in a statement.

“Salesforce believes this raises significant antitrust and data privacy issues that need to be fully scrutinized by competition and data privacy authorities in the United States and in the European Union,” he said.

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Microsoft (MSFT) could not be immediately reached for comment. The European Commission’s preliminary review of merger deals lasts 25 working days, which can be extended by about four months if it has serious concerns.

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