CRM giant Salesforce is demanding that EU chiefs investigate Microsoft’s $26bn acquisition of LinkedIn, citing data privacy and anti-trust issues, even though the software firm tried to buy the business social networking site itself.
Salesforce’s chief legal officer Burke Norton claimed that by gaining access to LinkedIn’s data Microsoft would gain an “unfair competitive advantage”, according to a Bloomberg report.
He added: “Salesforce believes this raises significant anti-trust and data privacy issues that need to be fully scrutinised by competition and data privacy authorities in the United States and in the European Union.”
But Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith responded in a statement: “Salesforce may not be aware, but the deal has already been cleared to close in the US, 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.”
Salesforce lost out to Microsoft in a bidding was for LinkedIn although its involvement forced Microsoft to pay nearly $6bn more for the company.
If approved, the deal will give Microsoft access to the data of 433 million users, of which 105 million are active every month. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will have to make a decision to sanction or block the deal in the coming weeks.
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