Microsoft officially closed its deal to buy LinkedIn on Thursday, just two days after the European Commission cleared the acquisition, marking the last regulatory approval required to complete the purchase.
In separate blogs posted on LinkedIn, Microsoft and LinkedIn CEOs said they will now begin the process of combining the two companies, with a priority on integrations intended to heighten the user experience. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said his company’s day-to-day operations will remain unchanged for now. About 10,000 LinkedIn employees will join Microsoft.
The two companies have been working on an integration plan since June. Among the most immediate next steps: combine LinkedIn identity in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite, and enable members drafting résumés in Word to update their profiles and apply for jobs on LinkedIn.
Both Weiner and Microsoft CEO Nadella Satya said their top priority is to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth.
At $26.2 billion, the acquisition is the largest in Microsoft history. Some critics pointed out that large acquisitions have not always fared well for Microsoft. Two of the company’s largest past deals eventually resulted in write offs of more than $13 billion, according to The New York Times.
Others have questioned whether LinkedIn will bring much value to Microsoft. But the two companies have continued to assure skeptics that the merger benefits the users and the companies.
"If LinkedIn continues to grow its membership, if it continues to realize its mission, its vision, if it continues to grow the business, that’s going to create value for Microsoft," wrote Weiner.