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Microsoft doesn't just acquire companies

$26.2 B looks reasonable for the patents and trademarks that Microsoft is acquiring with its latest purchase. Why build software yourself when you can buy it cheaper from someone else? Besides, this is an acquisition war for enterprise software and LinkedIn is not just a software platform for recruiters and job seekers. A stockpile of cash doesn't do anyone any good if it just sits around collecting interest. $26.2 is a price that no one being acquired would complain about. You might even consider this purchase a waste if you were writing for Forbes. But, that is not the case. Here's what Microsoft also gets with that deal.

CXO talent:
  • Jeff Weiner is retained as CEO of subsidiary LinkedIn (ranks at #5 on Glassdoor's Highest Rated CEOs in 2016) - how does that saying go? Employees quit leaders, not companies (via TalentCulture). This is a retention tactic used by Warren Buffett, who often lets senior management stay at the acquired company if that company is managed well.
LinkedIn's Patents (source) - only adds to Microsoft's girth of patents and trademark holdings

LinkedIn's acquisitions (source):
  • 15 Digg patents (purchased for a mere $4 M)
  • mspoke
  • ChoiceVendor
  • CardMunch
  • Connected
  • IndexTank
  • Rapportive
  • SlideShare
  • Pulse
  • Bright
  • Newsle
  • Bizo
  • Careerify
  • Refresh.io
  • Lynda.com
  • Fliptop
  • Connectifier

The other cake trimmings:
  • This is the primary feature that sets LinkedIn apart: it allows online services to be marketed to users within a network. Many companies struggle with this concept and network-wide implementation.
  • LinkedIn's app portfolio - mobile authentication, user feature that allows attachments from mobile phones, user feature that effortlessly allows users of any status (basic, premium) to connect with any user on LinkedIn's primary platform. Apps include:
    • LinkedIn - a lite version of the LinkedIn website for users, a basic user lookup tool
    • LinkedIn Lookup - a bio-hacker for professionals for skills and experience
    • Lynda.com - eLearning on the go
    • LinkedIn SlideShare - shareable presentations
    • LinkedIn Groups - professional and industry interest networking
    • LinkedIn Pulse - business news
    • (premium) LinkedIn Recruiter
    • (premium) LinkedIn Sales Naviator - the sales lead engine for selling on LinkedIn
    • (premium) LinkedIn Elevate - reputation building by content sharing
  • The LinkedIn Brand - the web/mobile properties under the LinkedIn umbrella have mostly been well managed, both from an integration and public relations perspective; nothing bad can happen from adding this to the Microsoft portfolio, unless the integration between the subsidiary and the parent fails to mesh
The acquisition makes sense. Who else could have purchased LinkedIn? Any of the top 50 companies amassing stockpiles of cash.

And as for LinkedIn's 9,200 employees? I expect nearly all of them to get laid off at some point as Microsoft sheds dead weight from overlapping operations it wasn't keen on picking up with this purchase.
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