Henry Blodget was the first to report the latest “Facebook acquisition by Microsoft” rumor at an appealing (for Facebook owners) $6 billion:
No, of course we can’t confirm it. But it makes sense, don’t you think? Steve Ballmer, desperate and furious, sick of sucking wind in the Internet game, sick of losing every Internet in-play company and much of the future to You Know Who, sick of feeling like a has-been also-ran, raiding the bank account and snapping up the hottest company on earth.
The story does have a certain amusement value and now seems to have taken on a life of its own with putative price tags reaching $10 billion. John Battelle casts a jaundiced eye on the whole hysteria (even mentioning $12 billion) and asks a key question: Why would the Facebook team want to sell now?
Perhaps it’s because I’m the only person in my household and seemingly the USA who doesn’t have a Facebook account, but I’d have to also ask why Microsoft would want to pay an outrageously high multiple for the latest Internet fad. They already have the advertising contract; do they really need the site itself? I guess I’m the only one with a sufficiently high estimate of Mr. Ballmer’s perspicacity as well.