Salesforce is reportedly trying to stop Microsoft's plans to acquire LinkedIn

Builiding (Image credit: Microsoft)

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. 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:

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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.

John Callaham
  • Sour grapes.
  • I think they are salty sour grapes... Posted with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • So sour my face puckered when I read it.
  • This knobwit Bellendioff, dissed Windows phone, and only developed a UWP app at gunpoint (which _still_ isn't out of beta). He really is a prize *** this bloke.
  • But is it really an app? Last I saw, it was a website "optimized" for Edge.
  • More like rotten grapes!
  • Dirty...
  • Lol!
  • Then I guess Facebook should not have been allowed to buy instagram.
  • Or whatsapp...
  • or even Apple should not have been allowed to buy Beats music because it was anticompetitive to other services like Spotify, HMV, etc.
  • Bitter
  • Yeah he is just mad he lost... He should concentrate on his own business.. like making his products affordable to small business.... then he may get more users... Thanks, Dave
  • MS simply had more cash than they did
  • Factually untrue. They were ready to increase their offer, but weren't given the opportunity. Hence the bitterness
  • This ****** just made the LinkedIn purchase more interesting.
  • This is a last ditch effort. Salesforce knows that they have to close the deal on a major acquisitions if they expect to grow to levels of APPL, MSFT, or FB. So far they've failed, and looks like they'll also lose out on the Twitter bid too. They've made a handful of relatively small acquisitions this year, shareholders aren't happy. They want more.  
  • Microsoft should just let Salesforce acquire LinkedIn and make a hostile take over of Salesforce. It would be a lot cheaper than currently paying 26 billion for just a "lean cow" such as LinkedIn is.
  • If Salesforce was "allowed" to take over LinkedIn, then they could raise their stock prices higher and that would not be good for Microsoft at all
  • Not only is this bitterness, but I trust Salesforce far less than I do Microsoft when it comes to the future of LinkedIn. Can't imagine what sorts of anti competitive shenanigans Salesforce could pull with that acquisition. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Salesforce is a garbage company, same as Oracle.
  • Oracle became a piece of **** after it acquired Sun Microsystems and then "threw out" all the Open Source projects. It also destroyed Java by filing lawsuits against companies using it.
  • Regardless to what degree their "concerns" are valid, those concerns could be voiced towards all of these BIG acquisitions. (In many different industries too) Consolidation is often wrought with scary what-ifs.
  • "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. 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." Well then, I guess all the data they have collected over the years is going to be made freely available to everyone.  If Salesforce was successful in their bid would they have not done exactly what they are suggesting Microsoft is going to do? Seriously though, what "vast collection of data" has LinkedIn made available that Salesforce is afraid Microsoft is going to make private?  If it hasn't been public before then Microsoft wouldn't be harming anyone by keeping it in-house.
  • I'm sure there are many that are thinking that Salesforce is being the so called "good guy" by pointing out some possible negatives on this Microsoft-LinkedIn deal.
    But what if, Salesforce had bought LinkedIn and Microsoft was the one complaining; then would Microsoft be the "good guy" in this or the "bad guy"???
  • Sour grapes, I'm sure the same could be said if Salesforce were acquiring them. Plus, LinkedIn membership is totally elective.
  • Seems to me that Salesforce acquiring LinkedIn would have greater anti trust impact then Microsoft would.
  • SalesForce == crybabies.  When you start trying to use the Socialist, unelected EU to try to undo your losses in the marketplace, you have reached a very low point.
  • Do you think would not limit other companies from accessing the data if they owned it?
  • Double negative...
  • Wow is LinkedIn that huge of an asset for MS to have? Awesome!
  • Microsoft is the better choice. They are a lot more open than salesforce.
  • Maybe Salesforce is just worried that Microsoft will block Salesforce from linking up to LinkedIn via plugins etc. Though personally I think it is just sour grapes as Microsoft is one of the most open companies in the world now, it wouldn't surprise me if they made LinkedIn more open.
  • I believe that is the plan, so that companies that have Windows 10 devices could easily search and find LinkedIn profiles of all their employees, and future clients.
  • That would be a great move on Microsoft behalf. Let's go team Microsoft....the future is looking bright.
  • IfMicrosoft is not allowed to buy it then Salesforce cannot buy it. That is only fair.
  • I actually think an independent LinkedIn is best for users
  • Well, then what about having an independent is best instead of being part of LinkedIn?
  • LinkedIn is not sustainable.
  • Salesforce? I would have concers if Salesforce bought Linkedin.
    I would cancel my membership. Seriously.  
  • did you mean to say "I would have cancer if Salesforce bought LinkedIn"
  • He's totally bitter.
  • So of they would have purchased it, it would have been a threat to innovation?
  • I am always amazed how Microsoft is seen as a monopoly with unfair practices yet Apple and Google can acquire companies without incident Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This is the first time I've ever heard of salesforce. I need to see what they are
  • Just get over it. Microsoft is doing a great job, Salesforce can keep on dreaming.
  • Looks like salesforce is salty because they lost a bidding war. Good way to lose face.
  • I'm going to be honest here, I don't even know what Salesforce actually does.
  • Looks like they only order sour pork for dinner, forget the sweet part.
  • Europe regularly hammers US companies
  • Sour grapes. Salesforce put a stop to LinkedIn automatically linking in to it about 6-8 months ago. Apparently that came from losing the bidding war. Real sour grapes.
  • As a MSFT shareholder I wish that Salesforces suceeds in its bid to stop MSFT buying LinkedIn and then Salesforce buys Twitter! We can then call this the quad quad Nokia experience! 
  • Wow talk about soar loser. He does know that if they do block it, it won't matter because salesforce wouldn't be able to get it either because of the same thing that he is implying Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So what did they want to do with LinkedIn other than exactly the same...?
  • We have Salesforce at work, It's awful and we're looking to move.
  • They should let it go
  • Sour for sure! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android