On Monday, June 13, 2016, Microsoft and LinkedIn announced they have entered a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn. The all cash transaction is worth $26.2 billion. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence, according to the joint press release of the companies.
What this means to small business
While Microsoft provides the world’s most ubiquitous operating system, it has failed at previous attempts to create a dominant social networking platform. This acquisition changes that.
- LinkedIn, the world’s largest work-related network, will provide Microsoft a platform that can serve both the enterprise and small business marketplaces.
- Also in this strategy are Skype and Yammer, an enterprise social networking platform Microsoft acquired in 2012. The acquisition allows Microsoft a viable position to compete with emerging real-time communication business-focused platforms like Slack.
- Unlike consumer-focused social networks, LinkedIn is viewed by most companies as a business tool for sales, marketing and recruiting. While major companies may block Facebook, few, if any, block LinkedIn.
- The acquisition will even provide users with a dominant teaching tool, Lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn last year), to help users learn how to use Microsoft technology to run their businesses.