(Adds Microsoft comment)
BRUSSELS, Sept 29 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, which lost out on the bidding for
LinkedIn, urged competition authorities to go beyond a
simple review, saying the deal threatens innovation and
"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.
Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer,
said in a statement: "Salesforce may not be aware, but the deal
has already been cleared to close in the United States, Canada,
and Brazil. We're committed to continuing to work to bring price
competition to a CRM market in which Salesforce is the dominant
participant charging customers higher prices today."
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.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Francesco Guarascio and