Satya Nadella, the general manager
of Microsoft, has decided to break all the taboos. At the head of the Redmond
firm since 2014, the boss of the world’s largest software company has created a
real earthquake by announcing, Monday, June 13, in a statement the entry into
exclusive negotiations of his company for the acquisition of the network
LinkedIn social professional for $ 26.2 billion (23.2 billion euros).
If the price of the transaction is
apparently high, Microsoft also benefits from the decline in the price of the
title LinkedIn, which has dropped 40% since the beginning of the year. The job
search site may grow steadily every year, but its results are still in the red.
In 2015, the company’s revenue grew 34.8 percent to $ 2.9 billion, but its
losses increased more than ten-fold to $ 164 million.
“Over the last decade, we’ve
moved Office from a suite of productivity tools to a set of services available
in the cloud and on all platforms. We can reinvent the ways for professionals
to be more productive, “said Mr. Nadella.
Obviously, Mr. Nadella considers
that LinkedIn, which commercializes tools dedicated to human resources,
represents an additional “brick”, which would be added naturally to
the in-house software. LinkedIn will retain its current CEO, Jeff Weiner.
Founded in 2003 by Reid Hoffman,
LinkedIn today boasts more than 433 million registered users, but only about a
quarter are active monthly users, as pointed out by the Venture Beat specialist
site in October 2015. has generated nearly $ 3 billion in revenue.
Microsoft’s arguments to the
European Commission in the context of the acquisition of LinkedIn have
convinced. After obtaining the approval of the authorities in the United
States, Canada and Brazil, this sale was still to receive that of the European
Union. Brussels announces Tuesday evening the validation of the operation whose
amount is $ 26.2 billion. But as expected, Redmond will not be able to do
anything, including curbing competition through the overwhelming presence of
Windows for 5 years.
Microsoft is committed to
“ensuring that PC manufacturers and distributors are free not to install
LinkedIn on Windows” or to allow its uninstallation “if manufacturers
and distributors decide to install automatically “, detailed the
Commission, but also not to use the strength of Microsoft to crush the
competitors of LinkedIn.
As Satya Nadella explains in a
letter to its employees, this acquisition is the most important since his
arrival at the helm of Microsoft. Satya confirms in this letter his wish to see
the social network integrated within Office 365 as well as Dynamics, but also
evokes opportunities for advertising activities of Microsoft. “We could
consider that LinkedIn’s newsfeed posts articles related to the projects the
user is working on in Office 365,” the leader contends in his letter.
Microsoft adopts an important change
in its strategy: the publisher has significantly reduced its ambitions in the
mobile market and seems with this redemption to reorient its activities on its
core business by ensuring the acquisition of a player major of the world of the
Since July, Microsoft has offered a
bundle including its customer tracking software, Dynamics, and the LinkedIn
tool for business prospecting via its social network, for $ 135 per month per
user. Bridges have also been built between the two systems. A customer’s
Dynamics listing includes his LinkedIn data.
In any case, Microsoft signs one of
the biggest acquisitions in the world of tech, ahead of the purchase of the
WhatsApp messaging by Facebook in 2014 ($ 19 billion) and that of Compaq by the
manufacturer HP in 2002 (18.6 billion), but still far behind Dell’s EMC takeover
in October 2015 for $ 67 billion.