Microsoft and LinkedIn on Monday announced that the software giant will be buying the online business networking service for $26.2 billion (approximately Rs 1.76 lakh crore). The deal is set to close this calendar year, Microsoft said. LinkedIn’s chief Jeff Weiner will remain at the helm of the organisation and report to Microsoft head Satya Nadella (pictured above).

This will be one of Microsoft's biggest deals yet. The offer – $196 a share – represents a 50% premium to LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday, according to reports. The social network for professionals has around 433 million users, TechCrunch reported.

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