Microsoft Seals $26 Billion Purchase of LinkedIn

Microsoft has completed its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn, the company's largest acquisition and the biggest bet made by chief executive Satya Nadella.

The deal gives Microsoft, whose Office and Windows software are default portals for information workers, the leading online resume repository and workplace relationship database for that same crowd.

Microsoft has ambitions of using the professional social network to improve its software for salespeople, and coming up with new applications that combine LinkedIn's data about relationships with Office's information about organizations and how people spend their time at work.

"I am energized and optimistic for what we can achieve together and the journey ahead," Nadella said in a blog post. Nadella has said Microsoft will let LinkedIn, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., operate relatively independently.

Analysts who track Microsoft generally were supportive of the logic behind the acquisition, but cautious given Microsoft's history of big deals that flopped.

The company is still dealing with the fallout from its $7.9 billion purchase of Nokia's handset unit in 2014, a deal that led to tens of thousands of layoffs and about $10 billion in restructuring charges and writedowns. Similarly, the company's 2007 acquisition of Seattle advertising holding company aQuantive brought a $6.2 billion writedown that erased virtually the entire value of the deal.

The latest deal adds LinkedIn's 10,000 employees to Microsoft's 113,600.

The companies announced the deal to in June. European antitrust regulators gave their assent to the tie up this week after Microsoft pledged to keep elements of its software open to LinkedIn competitors, paving the way for the deal to close.

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