$240 Million! Think of All the Beer We Can Buy!
There can’t be any more deep technology in Facebook than what dozens of people could write in a couple of years. I think these things are going to have some legs, and yet there’s a … faddish nature about anything that appeals to younger people.”
“So how’s that Facebook deal working out for you?” Web 2.0 Summit conference program chair John Battelle asked Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last week. “Are you making money?”
“Rumor has it that we’re not,” Ballmer replied, adding “Mark [Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO] says we’re happy with it, so I guess we’re happy with it.”
Or, rather, happy enough. Because Microsoft has beaten Google out for an ownership stake in Facebook in a just-announced deal (see below).
Horrifyingly to those who are scrutinizing it, the deal puts Facebook’s valuation at around $15 billion.
According to the release that just landed in my inbox, Microsoft is taking a $240 million equity stake in Facebook.
Facebook and Microsoft Expand Strategic Alliance
Microsoft to take equity stake in Facebook; companies expand advertising deal to cover international markets.
“Palo Alto, Calif., and Redmond, Wash.–Oct. 24–Facebook and Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft will take a $240 million equity stake in Facebook’s next round of financing at a $15 billion valuation, and the companies will expand their existing advertising partnership. Under the expanded strategic alliance, Microsoft will be the exclusive third-party advertising platform partner for Facebook, and will begin to sell advertising for Facebook internationally in addition to the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“ ‘We are pleased to take our Microsoft partnership to the next level,’ said Owen Van Natta, vice president of operations and chief revenue officer at Facebook. ‘We think this expanded relationship will allow Facebook to continue to innovate and grow as a technology leader and major player in social computing, as well as bring relevant advertising to the more than 49 million active users of Facebook.’
“ ‘Making this investment and expanding this partnership will position Microsoft and Facebook to better take advantage of advertising opportunities around the world, and is a great win for not only our two companies, but also our collective users and advertisers,’ said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms and Services Division at Microsoft. ‘We have partnered well over the past year and look forward to doing some exciting things together in the future. The opportunity to further collaborate as advertising partners is a big reason we have decided to take an equity stake, and is a strong statement of our confidence in the long-term economics of this partnership.’ ”