The European Union on Tuesday approved the mega USD 26.2 billion buyout of professional networking site LinkedIn by US tech giant Microsoft Corporation however with conditions that are related to fair competition.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the condition states that, post-merger, Microsoft must “allowed other professional networking sites access to its Office programs for the next five years and granted computer manufacturers the option not to install the LinkedIn shortcut on desktop devices.”
“The EU said Microsoft must allow rival networks access to Microsoft Graph, a program used to build applications that can tap data in the Microsoft cloud,” the WSJ further added.
“A growing number of Europeans subscribe to professional social networks. Today’s decision ensures that Europeans will continue to enjoy a freedom of choice between professional social networks,” said EU antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager.
In June this year, Microsoft Corporation announced that it was acquiring the professional networking site LinkedIn at $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion.
Then, it was agreed that LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence while Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, the News Centre reported.
Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both had fully support this transaction, the News Centre stated adding that the transaction is expected to close this calendar year.
As per the WSJ, to win EU approval, “Microsoft also agreed to allow rival social networks to access Office’s application programming interfaces, which allow discrete programs to communicate with each another.”