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Why Microsoft beat Salesforce to acquire LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner
Asa Mathat | ReCode

Microsoft beat Salesforce to acquire LinkedIn because it offered all cash and less risk, said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was a class act throughout the negotiations, but at the end of the day it came down to dollars and cents, said Weiner.

"Microsoft's offer was of greater value — an all cash offer versus stock and cash —where Salesforce would have potentially been diluted in a way where the stock that they offered to lose value, at least in the near term," said Weiner.

Weiner's comments came at the Code Enterprise conference in San Francisco Tuesday night.

Microsoft will integrate LinkedIn's social network into its suite of products such as Office, Windows, Outlook and Azure to reach over a billion customers, said Weiner.

With Linkedin, Microsoft will have a better understanding of who its users are and can create more value out of existing products, he said.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner.
Source: Linkedin

Benioff has called on European regulators to investigate the deal on anti-trust concerns.

Even after the Microsoft takeover is complete, which is expected to happen by the end of the year, LinkedIn will continue to partner with companies such as SAP, IBM and Salesforce and determine how its data are used, said Weiner.

Salesforce has significant market share when it comes to customer relationship management software and ultimately, more competition is good for customers, said Weiner.