Microsoft announced early Monday that it will acquire enterprise social network LinkedIn for approximately $26.2 billion in cash.
In a press release announcing the news, Microsoft said that LinkedIn will retain its brand, culture and independence as part of the deal. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will remain in power there, and will report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as a member of his senior staff.
This is the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history, worth more than its acquisitions of Nokia and Skype combined. The deal is supported by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn. It’s expected to close by the end of 2016.