Microsoft is set to gain EU approval for its US$26 billion purchase of professional social network LinkedIn, with changes to concessions aimed at addressing competition concerns.
Microsoft last week told the European Commission that it would still allow LinkedIn’s rivals access to its software such as its Outlook program and give hardware makers the option of installing competing professional social networks on computers after the acquisition, Reuters reports.
The second plank of the concession is important because of the company’s battle with the EU competition authority over the last decade and the policy of tying its products to block rivals, resulting in fines of more than 2.2 billion euros (US$2.32 billion).
The slight modifications came after feedback from rivals and customers.
The deal, Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition, will allow the company to add a suite of sales, marketing and recruiting services to its core business products as it gears up for next-generation computing.
However, it came amidst regulatory concerns and citizens’ worries about big data and that some companies may use the huge amount of information they gather to squeeze out competitors and encroach on users’ privacy.
The deal has been criticized by US rival Salesforce which lost out on the bidding for LinkedIn and which urged regulators to examine the antitrust and data privacy issues thoroughly before approving it.
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