- Microsoft first approached LinkedIn in 2006 about a potential sale, Konstantin Guericke, a LinkedIn founder, told CNBC on Tuesday. But the site founders felt it was too early to sell.
- "Microsoft since the early days had a standing offer to our VCs, saying, 'Look, if you want to sell the company, talk to us,' so it's not a surprise that Microsoft ended up doing the deal," Guericke said in the interview.
- Though he is "sad" about the deal, Guericke asserted Microsoft's purchase made sense, though he would have wanted the company to stay public. Prior to going public in 2011, both Google and Monster also bid for the company, according to the report.
Microsoft's $26.2 billion bid (CIO Dive's most promising acquisition of 2016) is nearing its last hurdles, with the EU Commission reportedly set to approve the deal in December. The site was in high demand, with potential buyers such as Salesforce losing out to Microsoft to acquire the company.
A large part of that interest stems from the vast amounts of data LinkedIn owns. Microsoft has promised it will only serve as "custodians of that data." But the company also has the potential to better tailor services using LinkedIn's capabilities, boosting its offerings. Whether it's used for hiring, marketing, training or selling, LinkedIn offers a two-sided market.