In June, Microsoft announced its intention to purchase professional networking platform LinkedIn, in an all-cash deal worth $26.2 billion. An acquisition of this scale - with a potential impact on competitors - requires regulatory approval, and Microsoft hasn't yet received its blessing to proceed with the purchase from the European Union.
According to Reuters, antitrust regulators in the EU 'expressed concerns' about the deal to Microsoft executives last week, prompting the company to consider its options.
The European Commission said today that Microsoft has offered unspecified 'concessions' to regulators in an effort to allay their concerns. The Commission will deliver a ruling on the acquisition by December 6, when it may approve the deal with Microsoft's concessions, request further changes to the company's proposed purchase, or open a full investigation.
The latter option is obviously the least desirable one for Microsoft, as it would likely include a detailed and time-consuming probe into factors such as the impact of the acquisition on the wider marketplace.
Salesforce called for a full investigation into the deal in October, claiming that it "raises significant antitrust and data privacy issues that need to be fully scrutinized by competition and data privacy authorities in the United States and in the European Union". Microsoft president Brad Smith said that Salesforce's fears surrounding the acquisition were unfounded.