Microsoft offers hardware, software concessions to EC over LinkedIn bid – report - Mobile World Live

Microsoft offers hardware, software concessions to EC over LinkedIn bid – report

22 NOV 2016

Details on the kind of hardware and software concessions Microsoft is willing to make to gain approval from the European Commission (EC) for its $26 billion proposed takeover of LinkedIn have come to light.

For one, professional social networks with access to Microsoft’s application program interface will continue to have it even after the acquisition goes through, Reuters reported.

It will also give computer hardware makers the choice to install either LinkedIn or rival professional networks on computers.

Microsoft is trying to prove it will not favour LinkedIn at the expense of rivals, in an attempt to reassure regulators. It has software deals with hardware makers such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Huawei.

Both the EC and Microsoft declined to comment.

Microsoft submitted the concessions to the EC last week after officials expressed concerns. There is pressure from Salesforce, an unsuccessful rival bidder for LinkedIn, on the EC to probe further.

It believes the acquisition is anticompetitive because Microsoft can restrict access to LinkedIn’s data, making life difficult for rivals.

Last week it was first reported that Microsoft was willing to give ground, as the EC appeared more willing than the US to consider control over personal data an antitrust issue.

The EU will take into account feedback from rivals and customers before deciding if it will accept the concessions, demand more or open an investigation.

They have until today to make a decision, with the final ruling scheduled for 6 December.

The EC has fined Microsoft more than $2.3 billion over the past decade for various issues. For example, it was fined for trying to stifle competition by tying certain products to its Windows operating system.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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