Regulators in the UK have given Salesforce and Tableau Software the go-ahead to start integrating their business operations, more than three months after the San Francisco cloud giant completed the $15.7 billion acquisition of the Seattle-based data visualization company.
The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) said it based its decision “on the evidence it has received in its assessment of the Transaction to date.” However, the CMA says it is still assessing the acquisition to determine the potential impact on competition. That leaves open the possibility of regulatory remedies such as asset divestitures, or restrictions on business operations, but the decision to allow the companies to integrate signals that the CMA likely isn’t expecting to take extreme action against the deal.
Salesforce said in a regulatory filing, “The revocation of the CMA’s Initial Enforcement Order is not a decision on the transaction, but means that Salesforce and Tableau may now integrate.”
The timing is notable in part because it clears the companies to openly discuss their plans at upcoming customer and partner conferences: the Tableau Conference next week in Las Vegas; and the Salesforce Dreamforce event in San Francisco later in the month.
Salesforce, which has expanded in recent years beyond its core customer relationship management technology into cloud services, business applications and artificial intelligence, is looking to move further into business intelligence by leveraging Tableau’s technology for creating charts, graphs and detailed visualizations from large data sets. The deal escalates the competition between Salesforce and Microsoft, which competes with Tableau through its PowerBI technology.
In an earlier interview with GeekWire, Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky said Salesforce’s technologies and market position “are absolutely going to strengthen us competitively.”
Tableau employs more than 4,200 people worldwide, about half of them in the Seattle region. Salesforce employs more than 1,000 people in the Seattle region, part of a global employee base of 35,000 people. Marc Benioff, Salesforce co-founder and co-CEO, said when the deal was announced that it would effectively make Seattle the company’s second headquarters.