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Yahoo Tries to Woo Facebook With $900 Million 108

Krishna Dagli writes writes to mention a New York Times article on Yahoo!'s attempt to buy Facebook. Their current standing offer is $900 Million, with the deal including a degree of autonomy for the site and founder Mark Zuckerberg still in charge. From the article: "When Viacom offered $750 million for Facebook in January, he asked for $2 billion and was rebuffed, according to a person involved in the negotiations. Now, he remains undecided about the latest offer, made in the last few weeks by Yahoo. That offer, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was confirmed yesterday by two industry executives, one briefed on the deal by Facebook and the other by Yahoo. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations are continuing."
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Yahoo Tries to Woo Facebook With $900 Million

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  • my advice . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recordMyRides ( 995726 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:35PM (#16163276) Homepage
    Take it you fool!
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:37PM (#16163296) Journal
    I dunno ... $900 million from Yahoo is enough to buy a basketball team, pay exorbitant fines to the NBA and periodically hold forth on business as though you're Henry Ford, not some clown who unloaded his dot-bomb on some suckers just before it imploded.
  • Jackpot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnotherAnonymousUser ( 972204 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:40PM (#16163308)
    Chances like this are one in a million. You had a great idea and millions have enjoyed it. Take the money with some terms of autonomy and keep giving people the service they've come to expect. Worst case, just use even a fraction of the money to create a Facebook clone and have all of your users migrate.
  • Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RichPowers ( 998637 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:41PM (#16163320)
    So Yahoo! wants to shell out $900 mill for a service that's fast becoming another MySpace? Instead of maintaining its brilliant niche market - appealing to college kids through closed registration - Facebook decides to open registration. I fail to see the wisdom of that decision; MySpace already exists for everyone else. Facebook was, in a way, the anti-MySpace, a cooler, less annoying networking site. Users were PO'd about recent additions like the news ticker...just wait until the flood gates open and every emo, pedophile, jerk, and jackass on the Web starts signing up. PS: Web 2.0 bubble burst rapidly approaching, captain.
  • by Capt'n Hector ( 650760 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:46PM (#16163353)
    If Yahoo bought facebook and stuck the little Y! icon in the corner, I would leave. The whole reason us college students liked facebook in the first place was that was made by and for us, the college students. The only way for Yahoo to make back their money would be for them to sell the personal information (unless somehow the EULA prohibits it, which I hope is the case). If they do that, then we will revolt (see how well the "feed" feature went over, and that was information we already had), and facebook will be nothing more than a less neurotic version of myspace. Zukerberg, please don't sell. I LIKE facebook the way it is.
  • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:47PM (#16163360) Homepage
    Your plan worked! You managed to create a fad website and idiots are willing to give you 900 frickin million dollars for it! Take the money before they realize that Facebook is just a passing fad like boy-bands! Don't over-play your hand. Even Yahoo and Viacom aren't dumb enough to give you anything like 2 billion dollars for it.
  • by mr_stinky_britches ( 926212 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:50PM (#16163372) Homepage Journal
    Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

    Like you, I am from Palo Alto. I graduated from PALY. I think facebook is a pretty cool website (most of the time). However, I would strongly encourage you to take the money and run. Facebook is definately not worth that much money. Consumers are fickle, and most the users of facebook hate you anyways (perhaps because they are ignorant, but the fact remains..). Why bust your chops and lose $1BN for people who generally don't appreciate you nearly as much as they should?

    Good luck,
  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xENoLocO ( 773565 ) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:53PM (#16163387) Homepage
    And why would open registration make it fail? Just because you dislike the additions doesn't mean everyone else will. In fact, I would rather point out that you're in the minority in that thought. These guys are going to do whats best for the business, and opening registration means more money... plain and simple.
  • 1999 called... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @04:59PM (#16163421)
    They want their headline back
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:00PM (#16163425)
    Wow, and you went to school? Nevertheless, I know your problem! You should log into myspace instead, you'll be more at home. You can say what you want, no matter how inappropriate and immature (considering facebook tries not to be so immature and inappropriate). I'm sure you can even put your text in huge glittery animated gif fonts!
  • by DysenteryInTheRanks ( 902824 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:15PM (#16163501) Homepage
    I like Gawker's take [] on this:

    The 22-year-old founder of Facebook wants to sell for $1.5 billion, and the twit just might get away with it. You ready to kill yourself yet? Here, use our knife and be sure to cut vertically.

    I think anyone with any modicum of programming skill has been repeatedly slapping their forehead over the last year at the money being made from some very basic PHP scripts and what SEEMED like really silly ideas.

    Seriously -- if someone came to you a few years ago and was like, "Umm, ya, we're looking to take, like, Geocities, and mash it up with Blogger, and AOL Instant Messenger, except uglier than any of those things, and maybe graft on some awkward type capabilities, and leverage the awesome power of ColdFusion [], and we've registered an awesome domain name -- MYSPACE, get it, like My Space, like My Web Space ...", I mean -- really. Would you have been able to STOP laughing?

    Or if someone was like, "ya, I envision this site where everyone at every college can just upload all their personal info, pictures, basically just like Blogger, except only other people at their college can see it, and they can like join clubs and stuff, and groups, like any group they want, and post pictures of themselves doing bong hits, put the whole thing on a PHP/MySQL ball..."

    I'd be like, "ya, I don't see college kids posting pictures of themselves doing illegal things, first of all, dumbass. Secondly, why join an online group when you can join a REAL group, in real life, with live members of the opposite sex present? And thirdly, why should they use YOUR facebook when their college prolly has one of its own? Even if they did, why wouldn't they use Yahoo Groups and Blogger and AIM just like everyone else?"

    Shows how much I know.

    Ya, I could have built this stuff. I'm not even a CS major or programmer, but I know enough scripting (perl/ruby) and server admin I could have pulled it together. But I didn't! It never would have occured to me to make something so bloody simple and so minimally better than what is already out there.

    Just goes to show, it's all about the users, and if you're not a user, if you're not in their shoes, it's really hard to anticipate what will be exciting to them.
  • by protohiro1 ( 590732 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:22PM (#16163532) Homepage Journal
    I don't think Yahoo would sell the personal information because that would be suicidal, for the reasons you said. Yahoo wants facebook to fight off myspace. I question the widsom of this purchase, but I doubt their will be a mass defection. If you like facebook, why would a Y! scare you off? Has everyone deserted Flickr? I think $1 billion is way too much to pay for facebook, but I find it unlikely that yahoo would ruin the service.
  • Re:Jackpot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quadraginta ( 902985 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:26PM (#16163545)
    Well...first of all, he's not going to get the whole 900 megabucks. He doesn't own the entire company, only a majority of its stock. The deal may not be strictly cash, too -- it may well involve quantities of Yahoo stock valued at their trading price on the day of the acquisition.

    Secondly, the guy is already fairly rich. Going from being a millionaire to a half-billionaire (say) is nice in many ways, but it's going from riches to more riches, not rags to riches.

    Third, one suspects he actually gets more out of the power and glory of running a successful company. It doesn't sound like his Main Goal is to have lots of money. It sounds like he enjoys more the constructive pleasures of building a massively successful venture. Who wouldn't? I mean, unless you're a total slacker, then being successful, admired, influential and seeing your ideas come to fruition exactly as you'd want them to is much more rewarding than the next million (once you already have a few million in the bank already).

    What happens if he sells the company? Sure, he's got a lot of dough, but he's no longer in sole control of the company. He's working for Yahoo. He's got a boss. Not likely he's going to enjoy that very much.

    He could take his big chunk o' change and his fame and go start another copmany. But no doubt the deal would include a non-compete clause, so it can't be the same type of company. Got to be a totally new venture. What are the odds lightning will strike twice? That the next "brilliant" idea he has about a company is going to work out as well? He's going to be worrying about that.

    If he had run the company for 10 years already and had had all the fun there was to have in it, I think he'd sell. But he's only run it for a very short time. On the other hand, he also knows what the commenters here are saying, which is that this is probably his best golden opportunity. I'd say the guy's in a bit of a bind.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:30PM (#16163568)
    It won't fail. At worst, the users will whine(that wasn't a revolt, that was a whine-fest); they're certainly not going to go through the effort to rebuild their social networks just because Facebook has gone commercial. This isn't the 60's, modern college students won't stick to their ideological beliefs through hard times.
  • Re:Not bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidu ( 18 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:36PM (#16163593) Homepage Journal
    I don't know if what you say is true or not but it doesn't really matter (and sounds like someone has sour grapes).

    But I'll tell you this:

    Ideas aren't worth much if you can't execute on them.

  • pointcast deja vu (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maadmole ( 698240 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @07:12PM (#16164084)
    This is what Zuckerberg should be having nightmares about. m []
  • by MP3Chuck ( 652277 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @09:25PM (#16164602) Homepage Journal
    Thing is, anything sounds simple boiled down into one sentence. Slashdot is a "tech news aggregator" but it's one of the most popular sites on the internet. Same goes for Digg. deviantART is just an "online art community" but it's got 25 million submissions and a couple million members. The list goes on. Like some others said above, ideas are worthless without an execution. And even then, the quality of the execution makes all the difference.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments