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Looks Like Microsoft Might Consider a Bid for Salesforce.com

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This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

Shares of were briefly halted because of volatility Tuesday afternoon following rumors that is considering a bid for the cloud software giant.

Microsoft is evaluating an acquisition offer for Salesforce after another unidentified suitor approached the -based company, according to Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources. Salesforce, led by CEO , held talks with the unnamed potential buyer as recently as last month and is now working with a pair of investment banks to decide how it will respond to any overtures, the report said.

Salesforce's stock is up more than 8% since last week, when Bloomberg first reported that the company was in the process of responding to a takeover bid. Founded in 1999, Salesforce has a market value of roughly $48 billion.

As Fortune noted last week, Microsoft would seem to be one of the most likely candidates to buy Salesforce considering CEO has identified the growth of Microsoft's cloud as a key component in his turnaround plan for the company. Microsoft is also one of the few potential bidders with plenty of cash on hand to afford Salesforce, and Benioff has been complimentary of Nadella in the past.

Both Salesforce and Microsoft declined to comment to Fortune about any acquisition bids.

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