Microsoft announced today that they have received all necessary clearance for their acquisition of LinkedIn, and that the deal is set to close “in the coming days.”
The European Commission was the last to approve the $26.2 billion buyout, after the US, Canada, Brazil and South Africa.
Microsoft said they had the opportunity to review the acquisition with government officials and regulators in “considerable detail,” thus formalizing several commitments regarding Microsoft’s support for third-party professional social networking services.
Why does Microsoft want LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a key tool for professionals. With 433 million members, it’s safe to say that most adults in the US use LinkedIn for finding jobs, and general networking. That said, it’s important to note that Microsoft has more than 1 billion Office users, but has no social graph, or representation of the interconnection of relationships in an online social network, of its own and until now, has had to rely on LinkedIn or Facebook to provide that connection.
In an internal memo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains, “This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”