Bill Gates: Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition deal is a 'great transaction'

In a new interview, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates labeled the company's recent plans to acquire the business-themed social network LinkedIn as a "great transaction". Microsoft announced its intentions to buy LinkedIn earlier this week for $26.2 billion.

In a video interview with Bloomberg, Gates stated he was involved in the LinkedIn talks as a member of Microsoft's board of directors. He stated:

I think it's a great transaction. LinkedIn brings a lot. I know (LinkedIn co-founders) Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner. The team there have built an incredible audience and so, combined with what Microsoft does working with people and productivity, helping professionals communicate, I think there will be a lot of synergies there. I was very encouraging as that deal came together and glad to see it really happened.

Gates added that he feels the value of the two companies will be greater together than separate. He also believes that LinkedIn could surprise many folks with its features and that people will want to learn about their career and their company via the professional news feed that it offers.

If we can make that as, say, valuable as the Facebook feed is in the social world, that's a huge value creation and will happen over a period of years.

John Callaham