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Yammer provides an internal business communication platform for companies (Photo: Yammer)

With the planned acquisition of the Yammer social-networking company, Microsoft plans to further expand its offering of cloud-based services.

The US-based s0ftware group said it will pay 1.2 billion dlrs in cash for Yammer, which provides a business-oriented social networking service for communication between a company's employees.

"Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a press statement.

Launched in 2008, Yammer has more than 5 million corporate users. Microsoft said that, once the acquisition receives regulatory approval, Yammer will continue to develop standalone services.

Those products will be offered alongside Microsoft software such as SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.