Microsoft’s battle with Salesforce.com over LinkedIn acquisition added $6 billion to purchase price

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn to flesh out the Redmond company’s enterprise solutions offerings has been met with very mixed reviews. Some tout the advantages of bringing LinkedIn into Microsoft’s “cloud-first, mobile-first” productivity strategy by expanding the company’s access to enterprise users. Others, however, have complained that at $26.2 billion Microsoft paid too much for LinkedIn.

Now, more information is surfacing around the bidding war that preceded the deal closing, with a number of previously unnamed companies competing with Microsoft for the enterprise-centric social network. According to CBR, one of those competitive bidders was Microsoft Dynamics arch-rival Salesforce.com.

As CBR reported:

A bidding war with Salesforce forced Microsoft to pay nearly $6bn more for its proposed acquisition of LinkedIn.

Details of the bidding were revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of a shareholder vote to approve the agreement.

Microsoft originally offered $160 per share, which would have valued LinkedIn at $21.22bn.

Other competitors included Google and Facebook, meaning that Microsoft’s acquisition was likely as much a response to LinkedIn’s being actively pursued as being an intrinsic element of Microsoft’s strategy. In any event, the purchase price was apparently heavily inflated by this competition, meaning that Microsoft literally paid billions more than they might have otherwise.

Time will tell if the LinkedIn acquisition will be a boon or bust for Microsoft. In the meantime, let us know in the comments what you think about the extra $6 billion that the company paid to bring the enterprise social network into the fold.

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