Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

- Microsoft Corp agreed to buy LinkedIn Corp for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal, combining the software giant's fast-growing cloud services business with an online network of 433 million professionals.

The offer of $196 per share represents a premium of 49.5 percent to LinkedIn's Friday closing price.

LinkedIn's shares soared 48 percent to $194.00 in early New York Stock Exchange trading and Microsoft's shares were down 4 percent.

Reid Hoffman, chairman of LinkedIn's board and the company's controlling shareholder, said the deal has his full support.

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