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Microsoft, Salesforce Held Serious Talks, but Split Over Price

Mystery solved.

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We now know who it was who contemplated the massive acquisition of cloud software company Salesforce.com in the last few weeks, and the answer likely won’t surprise you: Microsoft.

CNBC’s David Faber, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported a few minutes ago that Microsoft and Salesforce held “significant talks” that ended in early May. They failed to reach a deal. Microsoft was said to be mulling a bid for Salesforce in the range of $55 billion, while Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is said to have been holding out for a price closer to $70 billion. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was also said to be nervous about pulling the trigger on a deal of this size.

The talks are over and aren’t likely to restart, but they were at least serious, Faber reports.

The deal chatter emerged on April 29 with a report that someone — not identified — had made an approach to Salesforce, and goosed Salesforce shares by as much as 10 percent. Microsoft topped a short list of companies that could even think seriously about making a bid, including IBM and Oracle, with SAP in the mix and Google a possible but unlikely contender.

As Salesforce’s valuation rose, however, it became clear that a deal was unlikely anyway, if for no other reason than its sheer size.

Microsoft and Salesforce had no comment.

Here’s Faber’s report from CNBC.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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