Salesforce urges EU to take close Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition

Salesforce urges EU to take close Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition

Marc Benioff has made clear his plans to take on Microsoft

Clash of the clouds? According to the New York Times, Salesforce is raising potential problems for Microsoft in Europe, questioning whether its acquisition of LinkedIn would give it too much exclusive control of too much data.

The company raised the concerns in a survey response to the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, which handles antitrust issues.

As the Times reports:

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.

Europe has been particularly wary of how American companies stockpile user data, and while Microsoft has had smooth sailing so far in the regulatory process, with clearance for the deal given by United States and Canada, it will need the EU approval soon if it hopes to close the deal by the end of year, as initially planned.

That said, one rival's complaints isn't much of a data point to go on, but the it does underlying the increasingly aggressively clashes between two companies that often partnered on core services. Earlier this month, Business Insider reported on the growing ambition of Benioff, who drove through the purchase of productivity software Quip in part to better position Salesforce to take on the office environment.

From a call with investors:

We have to have productivity built in. All of our applications need to have core productivity applications, whether it is email, like with Salesforce Inbox or spreadsheets or word processors like Quip, live documents. All of that has to be an integrated part of what we are doing. We believe that strongly. We have obviously done a lot of great work with Microsoft as well, with their products. We have now our own product in this category. And this is going to be really important for us going forward and it's the reason that we bought Quip.

We'll be reporting live on those ambitions directly next week from Dreamforce, so stay tuned.

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