Microsoft offers software and hardware concessions to win EU approval for its $26 billion LinkedIn deal

Company - Himanshu Gill - Nov 23,2016

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microsoft offers software and hardware concessions to win eu approval for its 26 billion dollar linkedin deal

Technology giant Microsoft is ready to allow LinkedIn's rival companies to access its software and provide hardware manufacturers the choice of installing other services.

Microsoft announced in June this year that it has signed an agreement with LinkedIn under which it would acquire the professional social network for an all cash value of $26.2 billion. The deal would allow Microsoft to add sales, marketing and recruiting services to its core business products. Salesforce, which lost its bid for LinkedIn, then urged regulators to examine antitrust and data privacy issues before clearing the deal for Microsoft.

The company is seeking for an approval from the EU for the deal, which is going to be its biggest acquisition ever. Microsoft submitted its concessions to the European Commission after they had expressed concerns over the deal. With the software and hardware offer, Microsoft wants to show that it will not favor LinkedIn at the cost of rivals.

After the merger, rival professional social networks would have an access to Microsoft’s Outlook add-ins and APIs program. This will allow third party tools to integrate with Outlook and discrete programs to communicate with each other.

Other than these, Microsoft would allow the display of profiles from other professional networking sites besides LinkedIn such as German business-professionals network, XING. Microsoft has also committed to allow computer manufacturers such as Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. to disable the LinkedIn shortcut on desktop devices.

However, none of these steps could provide any outside entity to have an access to LinkedIn’s data trove. LinkedIn generates a revenue of around $3 billion annually from job seekers and recruiters.

The EU is now seeking feedback from LinkedIn’s rivals and users to decide whether to accept the concessions or start an investigation which might last up to five months.