Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been given the thumbs up from the European Union over its acquisition of LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD). The approval came as the tech titan assured the body of a number of safeguards to ensure the deal would go ahead without a hitch. Now it is time for Microsoft to scour through the data of millions of LinkedIn users and make some money off of it.
Microsoft Corporation Gains Approval From EU
It now appears that Microsoft’s $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn will proceed without further delays.
The European Commission, which is the bloc’s executive arm, announced on Tuesday that it had given Microsoft the approval to buy LinkedIn. There were a couple of caveats that Microsoft must abide by.
According to the EU, the deal would be allowed on the condition that other professional networking outlets would be permitted to access programming commands for the Office apps and cloud-computing services until 2021 or 2022. The EU also said that Microsoft must give computer manufacturers the option to not install the LinkedIn shortcut on desktop devices.
Experts note that these concessions aren’t too much of a problem. The tech giant already provides the Office Add-in effort to professional social networking services. Also, gaining access to its cloud-computing system could prove beneficial to Microsoft because they would have to access Microsoft in the first place.
“A growing number of Europeans subscribe to professional social networks. Today’s decision ensures that Europeans will continue to enjoy a freedom of choice between professional social networks,” said EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, said the tech firm is pleased by the quick approval.
“With this regulatory process behind us, we can bring together two great companies and focus on even broader issues for the future,” he wrote in a blog.
The decision only took two months to make. The announcement comes as Microsoft has received approvals from Brazil, Canada, the U.S. and South Africa.
Microsoft made global headlines in June when it announced it was buying LinkedIn.
EU’s Approval of Microsoft Corporation – LinkedIn Not Pleasing Everyone
Apparently, the EU’s approval of the Microsoft-LinkedIn deal isn’t pleasing everyone.
The nod impacts Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE:CRM). First, it had initially bid for LinkedIn and urgesdregulators to scrutinize the merger. Second, Salesforce has said that the deal gives Microsoft an unfair competitive advantage since it would have the social network’s immense amount of data.
In a statement, Salesforce urged regulators to be “vigilant” as they start to monitor its use of LinkedIn.
“As AI [artificial intelligence], machine learning and other technologies continue to advance, questions around access to critical data sets will only become more important and Salesforce will continue to share its views with regulators and policy makers around the world about the ways in which access to data is emerging as a key issue in competition policy,” said Salesforce’s chief legal officer Burke Norton.
The announcement helped Microsoft’s shares as they have climbed more than two percent over the last two trading sessions.