The Suitors of LinkedIn

The Suitors of LinkedIn

We already know that Microsoft successfully acquired LinkedIn. But Bill Gates’ company wasn’t the only suitor of the said social networking site. It had more suitors than we previously thought.

Besides Microsoft, Google and Facebook also looked into buying the social networking site, but it was ultimately sold for $26 billion to Microsoft last month. LinkedIn had as many as five possible buyers. And Salesforce was also one of them.

According to the SEC document filed on Friday, the social networking site drew interest from several buyers. But the bidders were only referred to as Party A, Party B, and so on and so forth. It was reported that Party B was Google, and Party D was Facebook. In several reports, Party A was referred to as Salesforce. Unfortunately, no one could identify who Party C was.

LinkedIn had yet to comment on its many suitors before it ultimately sold it to Microsoft. Facebook and Google, too, declined to comment on this matter.

In the filing, it was reported that Google met with LinkedIn’s CEO in the middle of March after Salesforce and Microsoft expressed their interested in acquiring the social networking site. After that, Google’s executive and LinkedIn’s board chair set up a meeting to discuss the acquisition.

On April 4, Google has expressed its formal interest in purchasing it. However, on May 3, Google decided not to acquire it after Microsoft and Salesforce had made their offers. Then again, Google was still interested in having a commercial partnership with LinkedIn.

The courtship between Facebook and LinkedIn was shorter. Days after meeting with Hoffman, Zuckerberg told LinkedIn that his company wasn’t interested in acquiring it.

The $26-billion deal was said to be the heftiest acquisition. It was also stated to be the biggest in the software industry and one of the largest in the history of technology. But experts warned that big deals usually do not work.

The Suitors of LinkedIn

The size of the deal was three times the size of the company’s previous acquisition when it purchased Skype in 2011 for $8.5 billion.

Although the acquisition of Skype turned out to be okay for the software company, its next largest purchases were not. For example, its acquisition of Nokia handset in 2014 was considered to be complete write-offs.

For professionals, the acquisition may affect different users in several different ways. Experts believe that Microsoft and LinkedIn may focus on the Enterprise first before anything else. In the short run, the biggest winners were those individuals who held LinkedIn’s stock that rose dramatically after the news of the acquisition broke out. However, in the long-term, the biggest winners might be those users who log in to LinkedIn on a daily basis.