The European Commission has cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of social network LinkedIn, following similar reviews and clearances in the US, Canada, Brazil and South Africa.
Microsoft President Brad Smith has written about how the deal, which will be completed within days, will help the company “take new steps to help people learn added skills and seek better jobs”.
Here’s why the purchase is positive for both companies and their users:
Helping you learn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second; and there are more than 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn – they are the site’s fastest-growing demographic.
Adding Microsoft’s technology to LinkedIn means the pair can help more people develop new skills, find and pursue new jobs, and become more creative and productive as they work with colleagues.
Helping schools and communities
Through Microsoft Philanthropies, the company has vowed to invest more than any other company to take digital skills into schools. Through the Affordable Access initiative and new wireless broadband “TV White Spaces” technologies, Microsoft will also improve broadband access in rural communities. LinkedIn, meanwhile, has its own programme focused on good causes.
Helping governments to help the public
The LinkedIn Economic Graph digitally maps the global economy, creates data on local job growth and skills needs, and aims to create opportunities for every member of the workforce. The deal with Microsoft means there is an expanded opportunity to help governments use better data and analytical capabilities to pursue economic development strategies to help connect people with new opportunities.
Helping people be more successful and productive
Since 2003, LinkedIn has connected professionals from across the world to make them more productive and successful. The deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network, and both companies are focused on creating more connected, intelligent and productive experiences.
Helping economic growth
Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella told the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this year that the deal was about helping people be creative, which in turn can improve economies. “LinkedIn is not just about having your profile and finding a job, but it is about being able to find your economic opportunity and then knowing what skills you need to acquire in order to find that economic opportunity,” he said. “…I think that we also have to have the responsibility first as companies, as businesses, to create economic opportunity.”