Microsoft on Monday revealed plans to acquire the professional network LinkedIn. Microsoft plans to finalise the deal later this year for $26.2 million dollars; $196 dollars per share. The terms of the acquisition will see LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner remain the head of the professionals’ social network, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Like WhatsApp’s acquisition by Facebook, the deal with preserve LinkedIn’s “distinct brand, culture, and independence.”
Microsoft plans to integrate the world’s largest professional network with its cloud platform banking on the financial prospects a collaboration of this magnitude. In an email to Microsoft employees Satya Nadella wrote, “This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network. I have been learning about LinkedIn for some time while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services. It’s clear to me that the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business and an impressive network of more than 433 million professionals.”
Upon the news, LinkedIn shares shot up by over 47% while Microsoft’s share value dropped by 4% when the markets reopened.
However, the deal has raised brows from enthusiasts who have highlighted the tech giant’s past failings in the market. One observer has noted, “[Microsoft] should have bought Twitter or Snapchat. Snapchat has even surpassed Twitter in monthly usage … the Zune, Surface and Windows 8 failed …”
Microsoft’s failure with Nokia is well documented and the business world will be hoping for a turn of fortunes from Microsoft’s growing list of failures.