Software giant Microsoft says it is buying the professional social networking service LinkedIn, which has 433 million members.
The $26.2 billion deal is expected to be completed later this year, with Microsoft offering $196 per share of LinkedIn, 50 percent higher than the firm's stock price last Friday.
Microsoft says LinkedIn will retain its name and independence.
California-based LinkedIn helps members make professional connections that aid their careers. It also helps companies find promising candidates for key jobs. The firm receives revenue from charging companies for its recruiting services as well as advertising aimed at its many members.