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Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn – an inspired play or big gamble?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent As takeovers go, Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn is pretty massive. In fact, it is Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition – and over the years it has bought quite a few other companies. The deal will see the software firm pay $196 per share for the professional social network. That’s a tasty 49.5 per cent premium on LinkedIn’s closing share price last Friday. Its shareholders must be rubbing their hands in glee. Last year LinkedIn’s …