EU antitrust authority approves Microsoft's $26bn connection with LinkedIn

Francesca Washtell
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This deal will be Microsoft's largest ever takeover (Source: Getty)

The European Union has approved a $26bn (£20.5bn) connection request between technology behemoth Microsoft and professional networking site LinkedIn.

The deal has already received the green light from antitrust authorities in the US, Canada, Brazil and South Africa.

Having received the go-ahead from the EU’s competition watchdog, the deal is likely to close in the coming days, said Brad Smith Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.

Read more: EU piles pressure onto US tech giants to improve responses to hate speech

“With this regulatory process behind us, we can bring together two great companies and focus on even broader issues for the future,” he said in a blog post.

To secure EU approval for its largest ever deal, Microsoft will let LinkedIn rivals access its Office add-in programme, crucial for integrating their services with its Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel programmes.

Most of LinkedIn’s $3bn annual revenue is generated from monthly fees from job hunters and recruiters.

Read more: Weakened pound: Microsoft is next to increase UK prices

LinkedIn reported a 23 per cent jump in revenue in its results for the third quarter of this year.

Law firm Morrison & Forrester has said we should expect more major technology takeovers next year, after M&A deals involving flight-booking website Skyscanner, chip designer Arm Holdings and, of course, the Microsoft-LinkedIn tie-up.

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