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Business

EU approves Microsoft-LinkedIn deal

The European Commission has given the green light to Microsoft's planned acquisition of professional networking site LinkedIn. But Brussels made it clear that the approval came with strings attached.

The EU executive announced Tuesday it had approved Microsoft's mega buyout of professional networking site LinkedIn.

But the European Commission said it only gave the green light to the deal after the US software giant promised to meet commitments to allow fair competition.

Among other things, Microsoft pledged to leave personal computer manufacturers and distributors a choice as to whether to install LinkedIn on Windows operating systems or not.

Freedom of choice

LinkedIn as a compulsory component could have come at the disadvantage of rival sites particularly in Austria, Germany and Poland, the European Commission argued.

"Today's decision ensures that Europeans will continue to enjoy a freedom of choice between professional social networks," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Microsoft's $26-billion (24.5-billion-euro) takeover of LinkedIn was announced in June, the biggest ever deal for a social media company.

Following approval from Brussels, Microsoft has now cleared all regulatory hurdles in all world regions. The company said it would finalize the deal any time soon.

hg/jd (dpa, AFP)

 

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