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Marc Benioff autographs his book, "Trailblazer," at the Economic Club of Washington last year: Photo: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA via Reuters

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's bid for Slack — which is valued at $17 billion and would be his biggest acquisition yet — heats up his longtime rivalry with Microsoft, The Wall Street Journal's Aaron Tilley writes.

The state of play: Microsoft, which once tried to acquire Slack (and Salesforce), in 2016 launched its own workplace collaboration tool, Teams.

  • Slack would extend "the footprint of what Salesforce goes after," said Jefferies analyst Brent Thill. "Not everyone uses a sales system, but everyone can use collaboration. The beauty of Slack and Teams is that it touches everything inside enterprises."

Reality check: "Microsoft’s market valuation tops $1.6 trillion, about six times that of Slack and Salesforce combined."

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Dec 16, 2020 - Technology

Tech's hidden hand in the vaccine rollout

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Technology companies including IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce are working with governments and health agencies to manage the massive task of rapidly distributing the COVID-19 vaccines.

Why it matters: It's critical to make sure the limited supply of vaccines is distributed equitably and without wasting precious doses.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.