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Microsoft Just Made Concessions to EU Regulators to Win OK for LinkedIn Buy

November 16, 2016

LinkedIn Corp. Chairman And Co-founder Reid Hoffman InterviewLinkedIn Corp. Chairman And Co-founder Reid Hoffman Interview
LinkedIn chairman and co-founder Reid HoffmanPhotograph by David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft has offered concessions to EU antitrust regulators over its $26 billion bid for social network LinkedIn, the European Commission said on Wednesday, as the U.S. software company seeks to allay concerns over its largest ever deal.

The move came after the EU competition enforcer expressed concerns about the deal at a meeting with Microsoft executives last week.

The Commission, which will rule on the deal by Dec. 6, did not provide details. It is expected to seek feedback from rivals and customers before deciding whether to accept the concessions, demand more or open a full investigation.

Microsoft (MSFT) declined to comment. The LinkedIn acquisition will allow it to add a suite of sales, marketing and recruiting services to its core business products as it gears up for next-generation computing.

LinkedIn (LNKD) makes most of its $3 billion annual revenue from job hunters and recruiters who pay a monthly fee to post resumes and connect with people.


U.S. rival Salesforce (CRM), which lost out on the bidding for LinkedIn, has warned of the threat to innovation and competition and urged regulators to examine the antitrust and data privacy issues thoroughly before clearing the deal.

Microsoft however sees competition from social network Facebook (FB) and wants regulators to take that into account, people familiar with the matter said.