Microsoft's LinkedIn deal clears the EU, will close in the coming days

Despite competitors' protests, Microsoft's $26 billion acquisition will go through

Microsoft's mammoth acquisition of LinkedIn has just cleared the last hurdle in front of it, paving the way for the tech titan to buy the professional social network for US$26.2 billion.

European Union regulators have approved the acquisition, joining agencies in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and South Africa.

The deal is expected to close "in the coming days," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said in a blog post Tuesday.

The news comes roughly six months after Microsoft announced the deal. Microsoft at the time said it expected the acquisition to close by the end of 2016, and it seems poised to hit that mark.

It's good news for Microsoft, considering that the company’s competitors filed complaints with European regulatory authorities to block the deal.

Chief among them was Salesforce, which argued that Microsoft would be able to hoard LinkedIn's data to enhance its CRM products and other software while barring competitors from accessing it.

Microsoft did make several commitments to European regulators related to its treatment of LinkedIn, Smith said.

The company committed to making its Office Add-In program available to third-party social networks so that LinkedIn competitors will be able to integrate their services into Microsoft's productivity apps.

The company also committed to allowing IT administrators the ability to hide the LinkedIn user interface from users if they choose to. Should Microsoft develop a LinkedIn application or tile for Windows, PC manufacturers will be able to opt-out of pre-installing it on devices sold in the European Economic Area.

Users will also be able to uninstall a LinkedIn application should it come pre-installed, and Microsoft also said that it wouldn't use Windows to prompt users to install that app.

The hypothetical app could remain available for sale in the Windows Store, however, and Microsoft could choose to promote it in other ways.

Some of these restrictions feel reminiscent of the EU-Microsoft antitrust judgment from the early 2000s. But all in all, they don’t add up to much of a negative consequence for Microsoft.

The company will need to provide an open platform for competing social networks to access Windows and Office, but won’t be required to hand over LinkedIn's data.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?