Microsoft has no plans to cut off LinkedIn data to Salesforce

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Last week, we reported that Salesforce has raised its concerns on Microsoft’s proposed LinkedIn acquisition. Salesforce chief legal officer Burke Norton said that by gaining ownership of LinkedIn’s unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny competitors access to that data, and in doing so obtain an unfair competitive advantage. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Microsoft’s chief legal officer Brad Smith denied Salesforce accusation that they will cut off LinkedIn data for its competitors.

“It is not something that we have any intention of doing,” he said. “The LinkedIn data is public today and we want to make that data useful in lots of new ways.”

Microsoft is yet to get the approval for their LinkedIn acquisition from European Commission. Smith said that they are in discussions with EU about the acquisition.

“The European Commission has naturally been reviewing with us the whole range of issues,” he said. “They ask lots of questions as they always do and as they always should. I think they have good questions. I think we have good and clear answers to their questions, so from my perspective this is an acquisition that is going to promote competition.”

He also raised an important point on Salesforce’s complaints. If Salesforce, the largest CRM provider was trying to bid for LinkedIn, then he believes that as the fourth largest CRM provider, Microsoft can buy LinkedIn. Microsoft remains strongly of the view that LinkedIn acquisition will bring more competition to the CRM marketplace.

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