This week, Microsoft announced that it would acquire LinkedIn for a whopping $26.2 billion. This comprehensive account of the acquisition in The New York Times is a great place to start if you're just looking to catch up on the context of the sale, but it hasn't taken long for the Internet thinktank to weigh in on the transaction, too. Here are a couple of big questions you might have about this news and some well-thought links that ponder the answers.
Why would LinkedIn sell?
- "Imagine a world where we’re no longer looking up at Tech Titans such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, and wondering what it would be like to operate at their extraordinary scale — because we’re one of them," said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in a statement to the company's employees. Read the email in full at TIME and gain insight into the company's biggest motivators to sell.
LinkedIn CEO: Here's Why I Sold The Company to Microsoft via TIME
- Not everyone is wearing Weiner's rose-colored glasses about the sale of what was once a boastfully independent enterprise. Recode's analysis blames three major factors: struggling stock, slowing ad sales, and stunted growth in pageviews.
Here are three scary reasons why LinkedIn sold to Microsoft for $26 billion via recode
Why would Microsoft buy?
- Remember that time Microsoft tried to buy Facebook? The New Yorker does. Contributor Vauhini Vara breaks down why the failure to acquire Facebook was a sign of a broader brokenness in the company--and why the acquisition of LinkedIn is less about social networking and more about expanding Microsoft's influence in cloud-based tech.
Why Microsoft Wanted LinkedIn via The New Yorker
- UK FORBES contributor Grant Feller has a simpler take on LinkedIn's value to its new owner: It's all about content, baby. "It’s not just the numbers that matter – and this is where some journalists have got it wrong," he says. "Much of the value of the company derives from the content that’s published on the site. Its 2015 revenue was $2.9 billion, which was a 35% increase on the previous year." This Is The Real Reason Microsoft Bought LinkedIn via FORBES
- "Think like a tech chief executive, using the key values of relevance, synergy, data and growth," asks the New York Times. Their reasoning is similar to that of The New Yorker, but with a greater emphasis on the possibilities of LinkedIn's valuable trove of data. "Buying LinkedIn didn’t just improve the likely performance of Microsoft’s own algorithms," the Times continues. "It took a large potential data resource off the table for Amazon and Google."
Why Microsoft Likes LinkedIn via The New York Times
What's the deal with the way Microsoft is financing this?
- Microsoft is a mammoth company with more than enough cash to buy LinkedIn outright. So why did they borrow money for the sale? Bloomberg breaks down the "idiosyncrasies" in U.S. corporate tax code and details the complications of making a big purchase when most of a company's money is stored overseas.
Why Microsoft, With $100 Billion, Wants a Loan for LinkedIn via BLOOMBERG
- According to TIME, Microsoft's loan for the acquisition is the latest sign of a growing corporate debt bubble. In this opinion piece, economic analyst Rana Foroohar makes builds a case against the flaws in tax codes that reward debt over equity.
Microsoft's Massive LinkedIn Deal Is A Sign of Something Dangerous via TIME