Microsoft now officially owns LinkedIn, a popular social networking platform geared toward employers and professionals.
The multi-billion acquisition first made headlines in June, and the European Commission has given the acquisition a go-ahead earlier this week, joining the approval of other regulators around the globe, including those in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and South Africa.
"This deal will allow us to keep growing, investing in and innovating on LinkedIn to drive value for our members and our customers," Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's chief executive, said back in June.
Microsoft Buys LinkedIn
Microsoft's $26.2 billion LinkedIn purchase is touted as one of the biggest tech acquisitions in history, behind Avago Technologies' $37 billion Broadcom purchase, which in turn is behind Dell's' acquisition of EMC for $67 billion in 2015. LinkedIn is Microsoft's biggest purchase in its history, eclipsing its $8.5 billion Skype acquisition in 2011.
"This is a major milestone for the company, one that we believe will accelerate how we connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful," Weiner wrote in a blog post.
How Microsoft Plans To Use LinkedIn
Microsoft's plans [PDF] for LinkedIn include "a specific set of integration scenarios," according to Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive. Among these scenarios involve the application of LinkedIn's identity and network in Microsoft Outlook and Office Suite, two of the company's proprietary productivity software.
Another implementation of LinkedIn within Microsoft's ecosystem is the ability for users to draft résumés in Microsoft Word, which simultaneously updates their profiles for LinkedIn discoverability, which can be used for job application prospects. The plans outlined by Nadella aim to fuse its products and LinkedIn's vast network together, conflating the two into a synergy.
"Microsoft — inclusive of LinkedIn — can take steps to help people develop new skills online, find new jobs and easily connect and collaborate with colleagues," Nadella said.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and has garnered over 400 million members globally to date. LinkedIn is billed as the grab-bag go-to social networking platform for professionals, especially since it's embedded with features that foreground connections within a person's given professional topography. LinkedIn has stood as the prime hub for users to get started with possible job ventures.
Facebook At Work, a forthcoming social network and workplace communication toolkit, is ways away from surpassing LinkedIn, but the platform, along with rapidly growing corporate communication tool Slack, should make for interesting competitors for Microsoft, assuming the company implements LinkedIn properly.