Microsoft has announced that it will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion (£18.5 billion) in an all-cash deal. The transaction is expected to close within this calendar year.
The deal will see LinkedIn retain its brand, culture, and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain as CEO of LinkedIn, but report into Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Reid Hoffman, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both support the acquisition.
At $26.2 billion, this is one of the tech industry’s largest acquisitions—though it pales in comparison to last year’s Dell/EMC merger, which at $67 billion/£43.6 billion was by far the largest tech deal of all time.