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What will the LinkedIn/Microsoft merger mean?

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...

46 Replies

Max Goff
3
0
Max Goff Entrepreneur • Advisor
Big Data Engineering, Data Science, Marketing, Investing
LinkedIn scheduled to start inevitable path to decline in 3, 2, 1 ...
Chris Kitze
3
0
Chris Kitze Entrepreneur
CEO at Safe Cash Payment Technologies, Inc.
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.
Rob Gropper
0
0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
i'm surprised Reid Hoffman agreed to $196/share. I think it would have made more sense for Salesforce to take a shot at LinkedIn, but MS's money is just as green.
Richard Pridham
0
0
Richard Pridham Entrepreneur • Advisor
Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs
There goes the neighborhood as the saying goes :(

BTW: Microsoft is acquiring LinkedIn, not merging with them.
Judith Hurwitz
2
0
Judith Hurwitz Entrepreneur
President & CEO Hurwitz & Associates
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
Art Graham
1
0
Art Graham Entrepreneur
Digital Media - Consulting | Project Management
Long term strategy aside, there will be a change in balance of sponsored content from Google for Work and Microsoft 360 and Dynamics in the news feed. LinkedIn has been playing both sides against the middle in the battle of behemoths as productivity apps move from desktop to mobile. This play by Microsoft to acquire the channel that professionals use for social networking will either work in their favor, or drive away LinkedIn members that value transparency.
Justin Roff-Marsh
1
1
Justin Roff-Marsh Entrepreneur
Founder: Ballistix
I think it's great news.

It's a great asset for MS and I think being independent (and listed) was pulling LI in a bad direction. Specifically, it was having to kotow to the recruitment industry.
Mark L. Rosenberg
7
1
Mark L. Rosenberg Entrepreneur
Tax, securities and commercial litigation
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 Gropper
3
0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
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?
Rob Weedn
9
0
Rob Weedn Advisor
Entrepreneur; Accomplished Enterprise Sales & Marketing Executive with $60M revenue generated
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...
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