Facebook Acquisition Watch

The Facebook acquisition rumors are flying again, including the Microsoft $6 billion one. But there’s also a rumor about Google and Facebook being in talks. I think that the Yahoo! discussions are done. TimeWarner/AOL and IAC probably don’t have the stomach to pay the $2 to $4 billion that it will likely take now.

Murdoch probably won’t bid because it would seem redundant and be an admission of the potential vulnerability of MySpace. Besides, he’s about to spend $5 billion on the WSJ (unfortunately).

Facebook is surging and LinkedIn and MySpace are feeling pressure. Zuckerberg et al say they want to go it alone, but this was also Chad Hurley’s line (“we want to build a sustainable business”) prior to the Google acquisition of YouTube. Indeed, it would be very hard to pass up a multi-billion dollar payday.

Neither Google nor Microsoft have bona fide social networks. Both companies will make contrary statements in public but Spaces and Orkut don’t count. While Google has YouTube, it doesn’t offer the same social media opportunity that Facebook does.

When I was at the Facebook Platform announcement/event my intuitive flash was that Microsoft would buy the site. I still think that’s the most likely outcome but a bidding war could ensue between Microsoft and Google. Zuckerberg & Co. might also be more inclined to become a part of Google than Microsoft and that might tip the scales, all other things being relatively equal.

We’ll see but I’m going to bet (based on no inside information) that come Xmas or very soon thereafter either Google or Microsoft will be making an announcement about acquiring the company and I’m going to guess the price will be in the range above and probably at the higher end of the range. Although Facebook is a probably ultimately a more valuable property than aQuantive for which Microsoft paid $6 billion.

So who knows . . .


Related: Here’s MediaPost’s recent article about Facebook’s growth and estimated revenues.


4 Responses to “Facebook Acquisition Watch”

  1. william Says:

    Face Book is the new AOL/You can not fight the internet

    Currently most Social Networking sites create closed silos of user information and content that cannot be easily shared, reused, or redistributed outside of the network. FaceBook is a closed Silo. Myspace is a closed Silo.A Facebook member cannot export their Profile to Myspace. A Myspace member cannot export their profile to FaceBook. This is not because their is no technical way to export member profiles; its because both companies want to lock users into the Myspace and Facebook silos.

    The Facebook “Open” platform is not only a gimmick it is also an Orwellian attempt to hi jack and redefine the term “Open” I think that may “Open” source proponents would agree that “Open” when it refers to software applications at the very least means inter operable. FaceBook is not interpretable. Myspace is not inter operable. From today onwards it is my hope that those reporting on and covering FaceBook will no longer use the term “Open” to describe the FaceBook platform.

    The Data and content that members own cannot be easily exported out, or used with many other existing internet applications. The flow of data and information is one way. The Open platform is in fact open for developers, but closed to the rest of the internet. A one way vacum of application development that can never expand to any users base other than Facebook. FaceBook is a “Closed” platform much the way that Microsoft is a closed Platform. Develop for Microsoft and your application will be dependent on Microsoft technology and will not easily port to any other platfrom. Develop for FaceBook and your application will not work on any other platform. By developing applications for either you have limited the possible amount of networks that can distribute and use your application.

    AOL at one time was also the darling of the internet. A big fat closed platform that attempted to lock in users. While AOL had quit a run; it was only a matter of time before users understood that AOL was not the internet. That there were millions, and millions of other networks to participate in. Once the hole of reality was opened and members realized that they were free to go beyond the AOL wall; the flow of members leaving the silo could not be stopped. It will be the same for FaceBook.

    The arrogance of attempting to redefine and close in that which cannot be defined or captured can only lead to a steady fall and ultimate humiliation.

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