Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2bn – or $196 per share – in the biggest acquisition in its history. The cash deal, announced by both companies before the market opened on Wall Street, saw LinkedIn's shares rise 49%, while Microsoft's fell almost 3%.
The professional social network was founded in 2002 has some 430 million members, meaning the acquisition values each member at more than $60.
The deal is the third biggest tech acquisition of all time, after Dell's purchase of data storage company EMC Corp for a record $67 billion and chipmaker Avago’s purchase of Broadcom for $37 billion.
These are the 12 biggest technology company acquisitions of all time:
1. Dell Inc agrees to buy EMC for $67 billion in 2015
The new deal is expected to close sometime during the middle of 2016. The precise value will depend on the value of a “special stock” included in the deal that tracks the share price in virtual software provider VMWare Inc, which is owned by EMC.
2. Avago Technologies agrees to buy Broadcom for $37 billion in 2015
Avago Technologies announced it would buy rival chipmaker Broadcom in May 2015. The combined company, Broadcom, will be based in Singapore and will be the third-largest US semiconductor-maker by revenue, behind Intel Corp and Qualcomm.
3. Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016
Microsoft is purchasing LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash. The deal, which has already been approved by the two companies’ boards, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
4. Facebook buys WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014
The multibillion-dollar Facebook acquisition of the mobile messaging service Whatsapp was the largest deal ever for a venture capital-backed company.
5. VeriSign buys Network Solutions for $21 billion in 2002
Security software-maker VeriSign acquired the internet-name registrar Network Solutions in an all-stock deal worth about $21 billion.
6. HP buys Compaq for $18.6 billion in 2002
Compaq and Hewlett-Packard competed during the early days of personal computers. Compaq sales slowed in the early 2000s and HP agreed to a takeover.
Although it was announced in June 2001 at a higher price tag, HP closed the deal in May 2002 for nearly $19 billion. The deal remains the biggest completed computer hardware deal in history.
7. HP buys EDS for $13.9 billion in 2008
The Hewlett-Packard Company completed the purchase of Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) for nearly $14 billion in August 2008. EDS was a multinational company started by Ross Perot and headquartered in Plano, Texas. It was known for building a system for allowing bank machines to take in money, but was acquired for its wider IT services business.
8. Symantec buys Veritas for $13.5 billion in 2005
In the largest deal of its kind, the security software company Symantec finalized its purchase of Veritas, a storage management company.
9. Google buys Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2014
Google expanded from the search and software industries into the hardware and gadget sector with its largest acquisition to date. Google has since sold off Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion.
10. NXP agrees to buy Freescale for $11.8 billion in 2015
The chipmaker company NXP Semiconductors NV has agreed to buy the smaller chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. It’s a deal that values the combined company at over $40 billion. The European Commission approved the deal in September 2015 and the combination will be the industry leader within the auto and industrial semiconductor markets.
11. Oracle buys PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion in 2005
The hostile takeover of PeopleSoft by Oracle took more than 18 months to conclude. The deal made Oracle the world’s second-largest seller of business applications software at the time.
12. HP buys Autonomy for $10.2 billion in 2011
Autonomy was a UK company whose products came from research performed at the University of Cambridge. The acquisition was set up to rapidly reposition HP and enhance earnings by expanding the lucrative software services sector.
HP wrote off $8.8 billion of Autonomy’s value in 2012.
And further in the past
The numbers included above are not inflation-adjusted but most happened within the last decade. The list also excludes spin-offs, telecoms and non-tech transactions.
A notable exclusion is the huge AOL and Time Warner merger in 2000. The internet service provider AOL acquired the media and cable television company Time Warner in the largest ever technology merger.
The profitability of AOL slowed dramatically due to the the dot-com bubble burst an economic recession forcing a goodwill write-off and the reporting of the biggest company loss ever ($99 billion) in 2002.