Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith announced today that the company's $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn has been approved by EU regulators. Originally announced in June, the deal will be Microsoft's largest acquisition to date.
The company had to make several commitments to the European Commission though. For one thing, Add-ins for Office will continue to be open to third-party professional social networks for at least an additional five years. Over that time, those social networks will also have promotional opportunities in the Office Store.
There are also conditions for if Microsoft decides to develop a LinkedIn app or tile for Windows. PC manufacturers must be allowed to not pre-install the app on devices sold in the European Economic Area, and for those that do pre-install it, users must be able to uninstall it. The company will also be unable to enter agreements with OEMs that favor the app over competing services.
Finally, IT administrators and users will have the option to choose whether to display LinkedIn profiles in Office, should that be implemented in the future.
Microsoft hasn't specifically stated its plans for the social network, as it couldn't do so until the deal was finalized. The company has shared the value that it sees in the social network, such as the personal data that's offered, saying, "In the future, Cortana will also know your entire professional network to connect dots on your behalf so you stay one step ahead."
LinkedIn also owns Lynda.com, which is a valuable service for helping people to learn new skills. Right now, it's a subscription service, but some have speculated that Microsoft may integrate it into Office 365.
The firm will have more to share regarding its massive acquisition soon, now that it has been approved by the European Commission.