BRUSSELS?European Union antitrust authorities are likely to clear Microsoft's $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn Corp. by Tuesday with conditions attached, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European Commission, the bloc's competition regulator, has to decide by Dec. 6 whether to clear the deal or open an in-depth investigation into the merger. The commission is unlikely to open a probe, the people said.

The deal would be conditional on the implementation of concessions Microsoft offered the EU in November, though there may be some minor changes to those commitments, one of the people said.

As part of its remedy package, Microsoft offered to allow rival professional social networks to continue to have access to its Outlook programs, according to people familiar with the matter. Microsoft's Outlook provides email and calendar management.

Microsoft's pledge would for example allow the display of profiles from other sites besides LinkedIn, such as German business-professionals network XING, in an Outlook calendar entry.

In addition, Microsoft has also vowed to allow computer manufacturers such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. to disable the LinkedIn shortcut on desktop devices. In an earlier EU review, Microsoft had to take steps after antitrust regulators in 2004 condemned it for bundling products into its Windows software.

Microsoft announced its deal with LinkedIn in June and aims to close the transaction this year. The acquisition has already been cleared in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and South Africa. The company said in June that it didn't require regulatory approval in Japan, South Korea or China.

Write to Natalia Drozdiak at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2016 14:05 ET (19:05 GMT)

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