The mystery bidder for Salesforce has been confirmed as Microsoft, according to sources close to the deal. The software giant wanted to buy the cloud giant for $55 billion but the bid was rejected by Salesforce.

According to CNBC, Salesforce boss Marc Benioff wanted $70 billion, a stunning price tag that ultimately sunk the deal. Salesforce’s current market cap is about $48.48 billion. .

The talks reportedly ended in early May, but both Salesforce and Microsoft have refused to discuss them publicly.

The bid wasn’t just talk – the offer was serious enough to prompt Salesforce to hire financial advisers to handle the negotiations.

Many had speculated Microsoft was the buyer, although SAP was also named as an interested party. Oracle was another potential acquirer, although co-CEO Safra Katz quickly shot down any talk of a merger between Benioff and his former boss Larry Ellison.

Salesforce reported revenues of $1.51 billion for the last fiscal quarter, up 27 per cent over the previous year’s quarter.

Benioff has publicly stated his goal is to get to $10bn in annual revenues.

The large bid shows just how under-pressure Microsoft is to come up with a new hit product, as its dominance of computer operating systems fades and marketshare of its popular Office suite is slowly eaten away but rivals such as Evernote, Google and Apple.

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