Microsoft cleared to close $35bn LinkedIn acquisition

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 07 December, 2016

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Microsoft has received the final approval required to acquire professional social network LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion ($35.2 billion), after making a series of concessions to the European Commission (EC).

With the EC having cleared the acquisition, Microsoft now expects to complete the transaction “in the coming days”, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said in a blog post.

In order to secure the last required regulatory Approval, Microsoft has agreed to make several commitments for the next five years.

These include continuing to make the Microsoft Office Add-In program as well as promotional opportunities in the Office Store available to third-party professional social networks.

If Microsoft develops a LinkedIn application or tile for Windows PCs, the company has also agreed to make installation of this module optional for PC manufacturers within the European Economic Area, and not to pursue agreements that would encourage manufacturers to prefer the application over competing services.

Smith said recent geopolitical events such as Brexit in the UK and the election of Donald Trump in the US have underscored the importance of the business opportunity afforded by the purchase of LinkedIn, as well as the associated societal issues.

“On both sides of the Atlantic, it has become increasingly apparent that many people feel left out and unable to participate in the economic growth and opportunities created by the rising digital economy,” he said.

“While technology tools are not a panacea for current economic challenges, we believe they can make an important contribution. Microsoft and LinkedIn together have a bigger opportunity to help people online to develop and earn credentials for new skills, identify and pursue new jobs, and become more creative and productive as they work with their colleagues.”

Image courtesy of Mambembe Arts & Crafts under CC

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