EU Union Approves Acquisition of Linkedin By Microsoft For $26 Billion

By Muhammad Firman Akhsanu Ridho , Updated Dec 08, 2016 08:26 AM EST

The European Commission on Tuesday approved the purchase, under conditions, of the professional social networking LinkedIn by Microsoft computer giant, a $ 26.2 billion operation announced in June. "Today's decision ensures that Europeans can continue to choose between different professional social LinkedIn network," European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said

The Community executive ties its decision to a set of commitments to preserve competition in this sector in Europe.In this way, the American giant should allow manufacturers or distributors of laptops to decide not to install LinkedIn network on the Windows operating system developed by Microsoft, the Commission said.

The group also pledged to allow LinkedIn network's "competing social networks" to maintain "current levels of interoperability with the Microsoft Office suite of products." With this endorsement, Microsoft "has obtained all regulatory approvals to finalize the operation," which will conclude "in the next few days," the multinational said in a statement.

The promises of the IT giant will be implemented "for a period of five years," said the Commission, announcing that it will oversee its implementation. Founded in 2003, LinkedIn network has got 433 million users worldwide and has established itself in the job search industry on social networks for professionals.

This acquisition is the largest of the group founded by Bill Gates since Satya Nadella took office in early 2014. It fits into a context of major acquisitions in the digital world, such as the purchase of WhatsApp messaging service by Facebook in the same year. The European Union (EU) on Tuesday approved Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn network for $ 26 billion after the software giant agreed on procedural safeguards to ease antitrust concerns.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, said it had released the deal on condition that, after the merger, Microsoft allowed other professional networking sites to access Office programs over the next five years and give computer makers Option to not install a LinkedIn network shortcut on the desktop. In addition, the EU said that Microsoft should allow access to competing networks from Microsoft Graph, a program used to create applications that can tinker with data in the Microsoft cloud.

"More and more Europeans subscribe to professional social networks," the Commission said. "Today's decision ensures that Europeans continue to enjoy freedom of choice between professional social networks", said Margrethe Vestager, the EU's antitrust chief. Microsoft announced its agreement with LinkedIn in June. To get EU approval, Microsoft has also agreed to allow rival social networks to access Office application programming interfaces, which allow discrete programs to communicate with each other into LinkedIn network. Among other things, the measures proposed by Microsoft will allow the display of non-LinkedIn profiles on the entry of calendars.

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