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Salesforce CEO told LinkedIn he would have paid much more than Microsoft

A LinkedIn board committee met earlier this month to discuss the email from Marc Benioff.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff
Mike Windle/Getty Images

It was already known that LinkedIn chose a potentially lower all-cash acquisition offer from Microsoft rather than take on the uncertainties of a stock-and-cash deal from Salesforce.

But now it has been revealed that Salesforce might have been willing to go “much higher” than Microsoft’s $26.2 billion, or change other terms of its bid, had it been given the chance.

In a filing with regulators on Friday, LinkedIn said a board committee met on July 7 to discuss an email from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

“The email indicated that Party A would have bid much higher and made changes to the stock/cash components of its offers, but it was acting without communications from LinkedIn,” LinkedIn said in the updated filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition to preferring the all-cash nature of Microsoft’s $196-per-share bid, LinkedIn has said its board was concerned about other issues with a Salesforce bid, including the fact that a deal would have required approval from its shareholders.

LinkedIn could still go with another bid if one comes in, but its deal with Microsoft contains a $725 million breakup fee provision.

Salesforce was the only serious rival to Microsoft, but LinkedIn also held talks with Google and Facebook, among others.

This article originally appeared on

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