European antitrust regulators on Tuesday gave their approval to Microsoft’s $26 billion deal to buy LinkedIn after the software maker agreed to concessions to keep Microsoft products open to LinkedIn rivals.
The OK from the European Commission was the last major regulatory approval the deal required, paving the way for Microsoft to seal its purchase of the professional social networking website in the coming days.
The European regulator said Microsoft had agreed continue to allow LinkedIn competitors to have the same level of access to Microsoft’s Office suite. The company also pledged to not require computer makers to install LinkedIn on Windows PCs.
After the deal was announced in July, Salesforce.com, the San Francisco builder of sales and marketing software, had urged European regulators to scrutinize the deal, saying it could give Microsoft an unfair advantage over rivals by combining its software services with the trove of information held by the social network.
“Having completed detailed conversations with governments around the world about the opportunity to bring Microsoft and LinkedIn together, we’re excited to get started,” Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said in a blog post.
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