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ACCC clears path for Salesforce’s $37.5 billion Slack acquisition

Each company has a “distinct purpose”.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won’t oppose Salesforce’s planned US$27.7 billion (A$37.5 billion) acquisition of messaging platform Slack.

The commission said the buyout, announced last year, won’t decrease competition given Salesforce and Slack operated in different spaces and with different technology stacks.

“Salesforce and Slack mostly supply different software with distinct purposes, so there is minimal direct competitive overlap between them,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“We focused on whether Salesforce having both CRM and team collaboration solutions could give rise to a substantial lessening of competition.”

Sims said most interested parties didn’t raise concerns with the purchase, however he noted businesses may seek out alternative options should Salesforce engage in anti-competitive conduct as a result of its purchase.

“Market participants said that if Salesforce engaged in anti-competitive bundling or foreclosure conduct, customers could switch to alternative CRM solutions, including global enterprise software companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Adobe,” Sims said.

Sims added customers could change to other workplace collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams.

“We consider, due to commercial and reputational risks, that Salesforce would be unlikely to disadvantage competitors by degrading interoperability between Salesforce’s CRM solution and competitors’ team collaboration solutions, or between Slack’s team collaboration solution and competitors’ CRM solutions,” Sims said.

If the acquisition is successful, which still depends on passing other regulatory hurdles, it would be Salesforce’s largest purchase to date, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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