Social platform LinkedIn is being bought by Microsoft in a deal worth $26.2 billion. In a surprise announcement late Sunday night, the software juggernaut said it has made an agreement to acquire the professional online network for $196 per share, nearly 50 percent above Friday’s closing price. Once News of the all-cash deal hit Wall Street, LinkedIn shares price surged 48 percent, while Microsoft stock price fell four percent. Trading of Microsoft was temporarily stopped prior to the announcement.

Business as usual.

The current LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, is expected to stay in charge after the deal closes and will report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

While still subject to approval by LinkedIn shareholders and regulators, the acquisition will be completed by year’s end. Nadella expects the partnership between Microsoft and LinkedIn will energize both companies as they look for ways to connect “every person and organization on the planet.” Weiner told employees that LinkedIn will change very little internally, keeping the same mission, vision, culture, and values it was built on.

"LinkedIn is the ultimate business social platform. You have everybody on this, from interns and college students on up to the biggest CEOs," Tigress Financial CIO Ivan Feinseth told CNBC.

"This is a good way for Microsoft to expand in social platforms."

Making deal history.

Previously, many industry watchers thought Microsoft was about to make a deal to buy Salesforce.com. However, it seems the software maker, with its power and money, was after a much bigger target. Since its founding in 2002, LinkedIn has grown to over 9,700 full-time employees with offices around the world.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, the company has more than 433 million members. Just in the first quarter of 2016, LinkedIn reached $861 million in revenue and projected to earn nearly $4 billion this year. According to online index Alexa, the company’s website is ranked 11th in the United States for traffic and visitors.

Partnership will help advertisers.

While the social network will still operate independently, Weiner believes the partnership will help advertisers on LinkedIn’s network access users on different Microsoft platforms, like Microsoft Office. Someday, businesses who buy “sponsored content” on LinkedIn will be able to expand their influence to millions of Microsoft customers.

Since its beginning, LinkedIn’s primary focus has been to connect and empower the world’s professionals. Now, thanks to a surprise deal with Microsoft, the company has the opportunity to reach even more people and potentially change the way the business world works.

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