October 14, 2016 / 4:40 PM / a year ago

Microsoft seeks EU approval for LinkedIn buy

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Microsoft sought EU antitrust approval on Friday for its $26 billion bid for social network LinkedIn, a spokesman said on Friday, kicking off a month-long review by regulators of its largest deal.

The ticker symbol and trading information for LinkedIn Corp. is displayed on a screen at the post where it is traded, before the start of trading, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

“We filed today,” company spokesman Robin Koch said.

He said the European Commission has set a Nov. 22 deadline to examine the case. The EU competition authority can either clear the deal with or without concessions or it can open a lengthy investigation if it has serious concerns.

U.S. software company Salesforce has criticised the takeover, saying it threatens innovation and competition.

Microsoft is expected to say that there is more than enough competition from Facebook and social networks on smartphones.

Antitrust regulators in the United States, Canada and Brazil have already cleared the deal.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Adrian Croft

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