FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - Microsoft <MSFT.O> 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.
"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.
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U.S. software company Salesforce has criticized the takeover, saying it threatens innovation and competition.
Microsoft is expected to say that there is more than enough competition from Facebook <FB.O> 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)