Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, marking one of the biggest tech mergers in recent memory and giving the software giant a firm foothold in the online professional world.
The move is easily the largest by Microsoft (it bought Nokia for $7.6 billion in 2013 and Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011), and marks its largest entry into the social media realm (it bought Yammer for $1.2 billion in 2012).
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and grew into the largest professional social network, with 105 million active monthly users and more than 433 million accounts.
Microsoft announced the deal in a blog post on Monday morning.
In an email to staff, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella touted the pairing as a way to improve both companies by integrating LinkedIn’s content and network with Microsoft’s cloud computing and productivity tools.
“This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow,”Nadella wrote.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the blog post. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”