Microsoft Considering Sales Force Bid

SALESFORCEMicrosoft Corp. is evaluating a bid for Inc., after the cloud software provider was approached by another would-be buyer, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Salesforce, which has a market value of almost $50 billion, is working with two investment banks to determine a response to approaches, two of the people said. The San Francisco-based company?s options could include rebuffing any buyer, or working out a sale, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg last week.

Microsoft isn?t in talks with Salesforce, and no deal is imminent, the people said. Still, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has long expected it might compete for Salesforce if it was for sale, one of the people said. Another company was in talks with Salesforce as recently as April, spurring Microsoft?s actions, two people said.

Salesforce shares spiked and were immediately halted for volatility on the news

For any buyer, Salesforce offers a leading position in customer relationship management, or CRM, software, as well as cloud computing — the delivery of business software and services via the Internet. Salesforce jumped 5.9 percent to $75.82 as of 3:01 p.m. in New York trading.

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