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Microsoft to Get Green Light From EU on $26B LinkedIn Purchase

Photo by Johannes Hemmerlein

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of professional social network LinkedIn is set to receive European Union approval.

Sources told Reuters the recent concessions made by Microsoft have changed the minds of European commissioners and that the U.S. software firm’s $26-billion, all-cash deal will get the go-ahead.

european-commissionMicrosoft promised the European Commission it would give its rivals access to its Outlook add-ins program, enabling profiles from competing social networks to appear in Outlook. Microsoft also pledged to permit PC makers such as Dell and HP to disable a LinkedIn shortcut that is packaged on the desktop of some computers.

Microsoft in June announced its intention to acquire LinkedIn, in a deal that would give the Redmond company access to the professional social network’s 433 million members.

Salesforce, which also tried to acquire the professional social networking firm, has been one of the most outspoken parties against the transaction and has been asking regulators to block the deal. Salesforce contends that it and other rivals would not be given access to LinkedIn’s dataset of users.

Salesforce said if it had purchased LinkedIn it would “have used the data within our own services appropriately and also licensed it to others,” adding the “chances of Microsoft doing the same without government intervention are slim.”

Still, Reuters sources seem to indicate that Salesforce’s concerns are not shared by the European Commission.

The Commission is to rule on the matter by Dec. 6.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.