Software giant Microsoft has made a sensational revelation about how it once attempted to buy Facebook, albeit unsuccessfully.
The company’s former CEO, Steve Ballmer, according to Gadgetshow website, told CNBC that he had approached Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to buy the social network for $24 billion in 2007.
Today, Zuckerberg is one of the most richest individuals in the word and has personal assets of $ 56.3 billion, more than double of what was offered to him to sell Facebook.
On being asked about how much Microsoft offered Zuckerberg for Facebook, he said, “Oh I think $24 billion when the company was itsy-bitsy and he said no. And I respect that.”
A book titled ‘The Facebook Effect’ by David Kirkpatrick published by Simon & Schuster too talks about Microsoft’s acquisition attempt. In the book, Kirkpatrick wrote, “Microsoft [would] acquire a small stake in Facebook at a $15 billion valuation. Then, Microsoft would have the option, every six months, to buy another 5 percent of Facebook. A complete takeover of the company would take 5 to 7 years.”
Though the acquisition never got through, Microsoft bought 1.6% stake in Facebook for about $250 million in the year 2007. Facebook had reportedly blocked a competing offer from online search giant Google during the same time.
With the Facebook investment, Microsoft was said to have dealt a rare blow to Google, which beat its rival in earlier bidding battles involving a stake in AOL and ownership of video sharing platform YouTube as well as online ad service DoubleClick Inc. Facebook is said to be more comfortable about working with Microsoft as according to nbcnews.com, “…Google has made no secret about its interest in building a more formidable social network of its own.”
(With inputs from Gadgetshow)