The Strategist

Microsoft buys LinkedIn in exchange for concessions

11/24/2016 - 14:52

US corporation Microsoft will receive EU’s approval to acquire LinkedIn social network in exchange for some concessions, in particular, for providing competing social networks with access to Outlook platform.

If the deal with LinkedIn is approved, Microsoft will allow competitors to use Outlook’s networks and application programming interface (API) to manage mail and scheduling, Reuters reported, citing sources.

Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is also ready to allow producers to disable access to LinkedIn in desktop devices. According to sources, the decision on small modifications was made after receiving feedback from competitors and customers. The Euro Commission will render its decision on 6 December.

The largest software maker in the US agreed to buy social networking site LinkedIn in June for $ 26 billion. This decision fits in Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s strategy to enhance the company’s growth. 

Once the transaction is sealed, LinkedIn can be integrated into Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics, an application for resource planning. The purchase has already been approved by boards of directors of both corporations. They hope that the transaction will be closed before the end of this calendar year.

LinkedIn became the biggest deal of current chief executive Satya Nadella, who became Microsoft’s CEO in 2014. $ 8.5 billion-worth acquisition of Skype in May 2011 occupies the second place in the Redmond giant’s shopping list.

In 2011, LinkedIn and its shareholders attracted $ 352.8 million during an IPO, having placed 7.84 million shares. On the first day of trading, the quotes have increased by 91%. After that, a well-known venture investor and LinkedIn’s minority shareholder Peter Thiel accused the IPO’s organizers in underestimating the company.

LinkedIn’s net profit was $ 9.13 million in the third quarter of 2016. In the same period of 2015, LinkedIn recorded a loss of almost $ 47 million. The third quarter was the first time in 2016 when the company made a profit. LinkedIn's revenue reached nearly $ 960 million during the period, this is an increase of 23% compared with the corresponding period last year.

Number of the social network’s users grew by 18% in the third quarter, to 467 million. Number of unique visitors increased by 6% to 106 million per month.

Microsoft’s net profit in I quarter of 2017 fiscal year decreased by 4.3% to $ 4.69 billion. Revenue rose 0.4% to $ 20.45 billion, the company said.

Total sales in the Productivity and Business Processes (includes Office and Dynamics software) increased by 6% to $ 6.7 billion (8% at constant exchange rates).

More Personal Computing division, results on Windows OSes, devices, games and search, decreased revenue by 2% to $ 9.3 billion (1% at constant rates).

Intelligent Cloud grew in revenue by 8% to $ 6.4 billion (10% at constant exchange rates).

Azure cloud platform’s revenue jumped by 116% (121% at constant rates), revenues from mobile devices were lower by 72% (71% at constant rates).

In the first quarter, the company returned $ 6.6 billion to shareholders in the form of shares purchase and payment of dividend. During the quarter, Microsoft adopted a new share repurchase program for $ 40 billion, and confirmed that the $ 40 billion-worth current program, will be completed by December 31, 2016.