Is Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn the End for German Competitor XING?

June 14, 2016

Microsoft announced yesterday it will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the largest acquisition in its history. Microsoft is not paying cheap either with $196 per share in an all-cash deal. That’s 50% more than LinkedIn stock’s closing price at the end of last Friday. Our Sentifi search shows that there were already rumors on the Internet about a possible takeover two months ago.


After the news came out, the number of voices talking about LinkedIn on Sentifi exploded to over 25,000. The tech pioneer Microsoft wants to use LinkedIn as a database of professional information and distribution channel for its software systems.

LinkedIn’s stock price skyrocketed when the news was announced, but our Sentifi Insights show that this acquisition also had a big impact on LinkedIn’s German competitor XING with a 146% increase in new messages in the last 24 hours. Besides a huge volume in trades, the stock also increased by 3.9% and is almost back to its all-time high. But there are voices that question if this acquisition is a good thing for XING.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, gains additional financing and access to millions of people who could potentially join its network. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said: “It’s really the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network.” For instance, connecting Office directly to LinkedIn could help attendees of the meetings learn more about one another directly from invitations in their calendars. In the future, Microsoft might even deploy Cortana as a virtual assistant to write the emails, too, based on LinkedIn data.


XING is very strong in Germany with 10 million users whereas LinkedIn is still at 8 million.

But in Austria, LinkedIn has already taken the lead. In Switzerland, LinkedIn is twice as big as XING. But the graph above shows that LinkedIn is gaining popularity in the German speaking market. While XING is still leading in the DACH region, it looks very different on a global scale.

In the U.K. for example, LinkedIn has more members than XING has worldwide. With LinkedIn’s total number of users being over 430 million and now the support of Microsoft for further innovations, things don’t look good for XING.

Furthermore, there is almost no innovation in XING’s headquarters. The German site is not more than a contacts repository, while LinkedIn really looks like a social network. When XING bought companies it was just interested in the users they had, not adding more functionality to its core.

The end for XING may not be near, but it is certainly not far away either. The board of directors at XING may just be hoping for a takeover bid from LinkedIn. Time will tell.

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