M&a · Startups

What will the LinkedIn/Microsoft merger mean?

Lucas Jaz

June 13th, 2016

I'm guessing by now you've seen the news that MSFT is buying LinkedIn for $26.2B. 
Curious to hear from this community what you think the effects will be? Everything from the developer community to future startup opportunities...

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Rob Weedn

June 13th, 2016

On the deal:  IMO, MSFT bought a very strategic asset at a good price at $26.2B. 

On the future of Linkedin:  

MSFT will almost assuredly leverage the acquisition in the following ways: 

Benefits

  1. Office365 Integration (beat Google).  User's Contact Lists integrated with User's LI Connections.  Profile sidebar in Mail Clients, like Rapportive in Gmail.  Intelligent reminders and news updates when User is emailing a contact. 
  2. Dynamics Integration (try to compete with Salesforce).  Linkedin Profile information embedded in Leads, Contacts, Accounts, etc.  Intelligent suggestions of similar leads, accounts, etc. 
  3. MSFT will buy MKTO or another MA (new B2B revenue stream) and integrate it with Linkedin Marketing Solutions.  .95 probability.   Corner the market on Sponsored Updates.  Possibly use the LI Profile information for Lead discovery & Lead enrichment.  
  4. MSFT will use the world's largest data store of contact information in their own marketing and sales targeting, campaigns and outreach.  MSFT was already one of the largest customers and users of Linkedin. 
  5. Will MSFT figure out a way to use Linkedin to enable/extend the Azure business?  I doubt it, but could Linkedin APIs could be re-opened to Azure platform users?  

Risks
  • Users flee the formerly independent social network due to its association and usage by MSFT
  • Employees flee Linkedin if/when MSFT makes changes to the products, culture, and benefits of working at Linkedin
  • MSFT fails to make 1-5 happen, and under-leverages the acquisition
  • MSFT over-leverages the acquisition & integrations, and finds itself in Federal Anti-Trust court again
Interested to hear others' thoughts...

Mark Rosenberg Tax, securities and commercial litigation

June 13th, 2016

I am a former federal antitrust prosecutor and have litigated against Microsoft. This is another example of Microsoft using its power to expand its market share in a different market. I have no doubt that Microsoft will tie LinkedIn to its other products in a way that will be to its advantage, but not necessarily help the users of LinkedIn. Stay tuned...

Rob G

June 13th, 2016

@ David A, i agree this is an opportunity for google to take yet another shot at 'social'.  
@ Diego, i'm a MS Office 365, Outlook, Google apps for Business, Mac user... old habits die hard.  Certainly security is always an issue, especially when it comes to sensitive company data or my personal financial data.  Encryption is always nice.  These days it's hard to transact with the rest of the world without your data sitting on someone's servers.  Business still gets done person to person.  I think LinkedIn could do a much better job of helping employees and employers leverage that, but LinkedIn was born in the recruiter world and those habits also die hard. 

Chris Kitze CEO at Safe Cash Payment Technologies, Inc.

June 13th, 2016

Nothing will happen until after the deal closes, which will be the end of the year.  After that, you should expect to see some integration with MSFT services / products as well as similar things to what happened after Skype was acquired.  A lot more monitoring of everything, plus censorship of "sensitive" topics like the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Max Goff

June 13th, 2016

LinkedIn scheduled to start inevitable path to decline in 3, 2, 1 ...

Rob G

June 13th, 2016

MS doesn't have the best track record with acquisitions, but i think LinkedIn could do a much better job of leveraging my network if it integrated better with my main business tools:  email, calendar, address book and search.  LinkedIn seems to know more than i authorized them to know about my address book, but that's another issue.  If my calendar says i have a meeting next week with Joe Shmo from Acme company i'd sure like to know more about Joe's background and what's going on for his company (did they recently file bankruptcy? are they being acquired? did they just ink a deal with one of my competitors, what do i have in common with Joe?, etc. This is much more difficult if Acme is privately held.  Rather than have me spend time on google searching for any news on Joe or Acme have Bing collect all that data and consolidate it for me.  I don't use Bing, but if i did and i'm searching for a patent attorney or plumber or _____  wouldn't all the patent attorney's or plumbers in my extended network want me to know about them? 

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

June 13th, 2016

Google will launch it's own LI competitor.  If they do I will bite.

Thomas Kaled Business Development Consultant @ thomas.kaled@gmail.com

June 13th, 2016

MSFT goal is to supplant Google which has probably only 6 million active users (more than 50 posts over the lifetime of membership) in Google Plus whereas of the 400 million LinkedIn, 100 million are active. Since MSFT has the Azure infrastructure they should be able to migrate any and all of LinkedIn and push Office Apps to users. User accretion rate has a quite positive trajectory as well as subscription, gross and net revenues. Although Twitter has more active users it is not the immersive atmosphere of LinkedIn which leaves only Facebook which not even MSFT can afford. Lastly user demographics (75K/yr personal income) are the best in the marketplace (  http://jetscram.com/blog/industry-news/social-media-user-statistics-and-age-demographics-2014/ ).

Judith Hurwitz President & CEO Hurwitz & Associates

June 13th, 2016

I think that Microsoft is going to create an environment that ties office to linkedIn so that you live in the Microsoft world for b2b. If Microsoft uses data about what customers are doing and how and who they are connecting with to drive actions, it might make customers unhappy. It will all depend on how heavy handed they are. They are paying a lot of money so they will want to expand their footprint with customers 

Irwin Stein Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.

June 13th, 2016


300 million people who will never hear the word Apple again.