(Bloomberg) -- Salesforce.com Inc. was a rival potential bidder for LinkedIn Corp. in the process leading up to the professional networking website’s acquisition by Microsoft Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

Salesforce was advised by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the negotiations, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak on the matter. Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, on Monday unveiled plans to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash -- the biggest deal in its history.

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