Microsoft (MSFT), LinkedIn (LNKD) Deal Demands Extra Scrutiny: Salesforce CEO

Microsoft stock

The Microsoft Corporation , LinkedIn Corp  deal requires more observation, as per Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s Chief Executive. Benioff said the $26.2bn acquisition of LinkedIn by the tech giant should face extra scrutiny by regulators due to the size of the deal.

At the WSJDLive conference on Wednesday, Benioff said that when a company is the largest software company in the world like  Microsoft Corporation , it needs to be treated differently. Earlier this year, Benioff lost a bidding war for LinkedIn to the tech giant.

Microsoft Corporation - LinkedIn Corp MSFT, LNKD

Benioff urges extra scrutiny of Microsoft LinkedIn deal

Benioff further called into question the concentration of data in the hands of the tech giant if the deal passes. Raising concerns about the LinkedIn-Microsoft deal to European antitrust regulators. He talked about the Microsoft Corporation ’s plans for LinkedIn’s data, and said, “Last time I checked, that was illegal.”

He said European regulators have observed how the firms are using data as a competitive merit against other companies. The deal is being reviewed by the European Union. EU has set an initial deadline of November 22, however, that can be extended especially if the regulators have questions about the deal. Microsoft is planning to close the deal by the end of the year.

Talking of LinkedIn, Benioff said that he saw parallels between LinkedIn’s business model and Salesforce’s. While adding some details on his vision for an acquisition of LinkedIn, he said they really like some of the business fundamentals.

Shareholders opposed Twitter deal

At the tech conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, the Salesforce CEO discussed other topics also including his company’s decision to not acquire Twitter. Benioff said on Wednesday that the company had a very “exciting vision” for the micro-blogging giant, but the shareholders opposed it strongly. “We had to stop because I’m running the business in partnership with my shareholders.”

Last week, the WSJ reported details of an internal presentation to directors of the cloud computing company. The presentation included a review of 14 possible takeover targets. The presentation surfaced from the emails from Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State. In September, the emails were published by DCLeaks, – a website of self-described hacktivists that leaks important documents from government officials and other influential people.

Benioff called the disclosure unprecedented, but said the shareholders were not displeased. He said that it showed that they had a “measured, thoughtful process” for evaluating acquisitions that could happen. Benioff said he is not planning to give up using email despite the leak. He said that in their world, Cybersecurity is unfortunately an oxymoron.

In pre-market trading today, Microsoft shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is up almost 8% while in the last one-year, it is up almost 15%.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.


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