Microsoft has announced its plans to acquire the professional social network platform LinkedIn. The two companies have already entered into a definitive agreement at US$196 per share, a $26.2 billion transaction.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

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As part of the acquisition, LinkedIn will keep its brand and culture intact, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will now report to Nadella. The company is expected to become part of Microsoft’s productivity and business processes division.

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Weiner said. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by both Microsoft’s and LinkedIn’s board of directors, and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.