Microsoft, the software giant, made a major announcement today. The US headquartered company has bought out LinkedIn, a social network aimed at connecting working professionals with one another, at a whopping $26.2 billion price tag.

Having over 433 million users and over 7 million active job listing on its platform, LinkedIn is currently the world's biggest social network for working professionals.

Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn is its biggest purchase till date. Industry experts are even pegging it as one of the biggest tech deals in the industry so far, only eclipsed by the purchase of EMC by Dell and Compaq by HP. In fact, the LinkedIn acquisition even leaves behind the much talked about 19 billion WhatsApp acquisition deal by Facebook a few years back.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, LinkedIn will be completely retaining its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will continue to remain the CEO of company and will report to Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft and LinkedIn Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement under which the tech giant will be acquiring LinkedIn at the price of $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion. This will be inclusive of LinkedIn's net cash.

Speaking on the deal, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella said, the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered around connecting the professionals all around the world, and with this deal, Microsoft will work together with the company to accelerate the growth not only of LinkedIn but Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as well. The tech giant's main purpose with this is to empower every person and organisation present on the planet.

Sharing his views on the deal, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said, the deal could prove to be very beneficial to the company and help his company pen down the next chapter in LinkedIn's history.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the deal is expected to close in the current calendar itself and that Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner are fully supportive of the deal and the monies involved.

[Top Image - Shutterstock]

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