Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

A BILLION dollars for Facebook?

Posted by Richard Koman - September 21, 2006

By Richard Koman for SiliconValleyWatcher

The Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo is in talks to buy Facebook for ONE BILLION DOLLARS. A billion dollars? Are you kidding? News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million and they seem to be very happy. But really.

Still it's good to know that some 22-year-olds act their age. Bloggers are zip-zipping about Facebookie Mark Zuckerberg's behavior during the negotiations. Michael Arrington at TechCrunch quotes from the Journal article:

During one series of talks with Microsoft, Facebook executives told their Microsoft peers they couldn’t do an 8 a.m. conference call because the company’s 22-year-old founder and chief executive, Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, wouldn’t be awake, says a person familiar with the talks. Microsoft executives were incredulous.




At one point in the Yahoo negotiations, the talks extended into the weekend, says a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Zuckerberg, this account continues, said he couldn’t take part because his girlfriend was in town. Others pointed out they were closing in on a billion-dollar deal. Mr. Zuckerberg said it didn’t matter: his cellphone would be off, this person says.

Jason Drohn likes this. Very much.

The situation is truly priceless. First of all, the money will be there on Monday morning. And who knows, it may have gone up by then. He might get $1.5 billion! People are bashing him for being arrogant and not taking the cash and running like a fool, but what does he truly have to lose? He is making enough to pay for anything that he could ever want from a social networking site!? He takes the weekends off to spend with his girlfriend! Hell, he turns his phone off in the process! How many CEO’s can say that they do that? I sure can’t..

Zuckerberg is in a brilliant position to negotiate, which he has already demonstrated. He turned down a deal for $750 million and they came back with $1 billion. So he responds by blowing everyone off for a weekend. Good for him. I am glad to see that he has the values which everyone else in corporate America is looking for, taking time off to spend it with people he cares about..

My fave post on TechCrunch's comments belong to Mark Seremet:

Wait, I have to hit my crack bowl before I finish this post…ahhh…that’s better.



One billion? Based on *any* financial metric this is just insane. It’s irresponsible not to take it if it is, in fact, legit.



Speaking of irresponsible…it’s very dangerous to act with such hubris. Zuckerberg has a responsibility to his shareholders which includes having m&a discussions at inconvenient times if it will benefit the stakeholders.

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