Microsoft is to buy the professional networking website LinkedIn for just over £18bn in cash. Microsoft will pay $196 a share – a premium of almost 50% to Friday’s closing share price. The deal will help Microsoft  boost sales of its business and email software as well as access to the world’s biggest professional social network with more than 430 million members worldwide.

Microsoft has said that LinkedIn will retain its ‘distinct brand, culture and independence’. Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, said that LinkedIn would be a valuable asset that can be deeply integrated with a number of Microsoft assets such as Office 365, Exchange and Outlook. (13th June 2016)