Microsoft has announced one of the largest tech deals in history, after paying 26.2 billion US dollars for LinkedIn. In a deal worth 60 dollars per user, the announcement sent the networking site’s shares up by 50% in pre-market trading. Founded in 2002 and floated on the stock market in 2011, LinkedIn has seen its shares drop in the past year, and reported an 8 million US dollar annual loss recently. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, has said that LinkedIn will keep its “distinct brand, culture and independence”, whilst current LinkedIn boss Jeff Weiner will remain in charge. Mr Weiner said that the opportunity to combine Microsoft’s cloud and LinkedIn’s network would give them the chance to “change the way the world works”. This is now the latest in a series of takeovers and acquisitions by Microsoft who paid 8.5 billion dollars for Skype in 2011 and bought Nokia’s mobile division for 7.2 billion US dollars in 2013.