Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

UPDATE: AOL Won’t Deny It Has Sold Bebo

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal identifies Bebo’s mystery buyer as Criterion Capital. TechCrunch pegs the price at less than $10 million. Both of those answers sound plausible to me.


Mashable says AOL has sold Bebo, but doesn’t know who bought it or the price paid for the social network. PE Hub’s Dan Primack (via Business Insider) thinks the buyer is in Southern California.

What does AOL say?

No comment. Or more precisely: “We haven’t announced anything,” says PR boss Tricia Primrose.

Okey-dokey! More info if and when it surfaces.

But if Tim Armstrong can get anyone to pay anything for Bebo, it will be a small victory for AOL (AOL).

The previous AOL regime bought the social network for $850 million at the height of the last Web bubble, and the portal has since had to write the whole thing off. For some reason, Time Warner (TWX) boss Jeff Bewkes, who signed off on the purchase, never gets tarred for that one, but I digress…

Armstrong has already announced that if he can’t find a buyer for Bebo, he’ll shut the whole thing down. Which makes it pretty hard to drive a hard bargain. Anyone want to hazard a guess?

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald