A new report claims that Salesforce, who lost to Microsoft in a bidding war to acquire LinkedIn, may be trying to stop the deal before it officially closes later this year.


Microsoft agreed to acquire the business-themed social network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in June. Later, it was revealed that Salesforce was also bidding on LinkedIn, but the company decided to go with Microsoft's offer. Now The New York Times is reporting, via unnamed sources, that Salesforce is trying to convince the European Commission that there are serious concerns about the Microsoft-LinkedIn deal:

The competition questions have focused on whether Microsoft's proposed deal would hinder access by people and companies to the vast collection of data held by LinkedIn. Salesforce.com has also suggested that the deal would give Microsoft an unfair advantage over rivals by combining its own software services with the information held by the social network, two of the people said.

In addition, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has attacked the deal on his own, via his Twitter account today:

So far, there's no word on if the European Commission will open a formal investigation of the deal. The report says that Microsoft has not submitted their proposal to buy LinkedIn to the Commission, but it is expected to do so sometime in November.

Do you think Benioff has a point, or is this just sour grapes coming from a company that lost a bidding war? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Update: We have since received a statement from Microsoft on this topic, attributed to its President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith

"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 continue working to bring price competition to a CRM market in which Salesforce is the dominant participant charging customers higher prices today.