Justice Department asks for more information on Salesforce-Slack deal

Get a free Techzine subscription!

Salesforce.com and Slack Technologies have both been given requests from the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division, to provide additional information, related to their planned $27.7 billion deal.

The two companies were also instructed to provide documentary material, according to the filings.

On Dec 1, Salesforce agreed to buy Slack, as a bet that the workplace messaging app will continue to be relevant and enjoy continued use by remote workers. The move is also seen as a way for the company to continue its rivalry with Microsoft.

The second request

Even with the DOJ in the mix, unless anything changes, the deal should still be completed during the fiscal quarter ending on the last day of July this year. For some, the move is seen as an indication of more scrutiny into prominent big tech moves under the new Biden administration.

The second request, as it is known, has precedent. It was invoked in GE’s 2017 Baker Hughes acquisition, Anheuser-Busch’s 2020 deal with Craft Brew Alliance, and Charles Schwab’s 2020 TD Ameritrade deal.

All of them received similar requests for additional information.

The Biden administration

There are some signs that the US could take a stronger antitrust stance than what was implemented during the Obama presidency. In Congress, Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, became the chair of the Senate’s Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust this February.

She proposed sweeping reforms of antitrust enforcement. A Salesforce spokesperson said to CNBC that the company appreciates the constructive dialogue they have with the DOJ and looks forward to continuing it.

The company says that it believes the transaction will be a transformative experience for customers and the industry that need such services the most.