Opera mum on Facebook buyout rumor

Norwegian browser maker declines to comment on whether social networking giant plans to acquire company, amid speculation it is shopping itself out to potential buyers.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Norwegian browser maker, Opera Software, remains tight-lipped on whether it is the subject of a Facebook takeover bid, after reports of the possible acquisition surfaced on Friday.

Asked if it was indeed in discussion with the social networking giant, an Opera company spokesperson told ZDNet Asia on Monday it had "no comment on this rumor" . Facebook has yet to reply to a query on the possible acquisition.

The report comes after the possibility was first mooted by tech news blog Pocket-lint on Friday, with an unnamed source claiming Facebook could be expanding into the browser space to take on rivals such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, and even Yahoo. 

After all, following the company's public listing two weeks ago which helped generate some US$16 billion in equity, Facebook would have money to spend and the mobile space was an area it needed bolstering in. It had stated in its initial public offer (IPO) filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that one of the company's risk factors was its "unproven ability to monetize" the growth in use of Facebook through its mobile products. This, in turn, might "negatively affect [Facebook's] revenue and financial results".

A separate report by The Next Web (TNW) on Friday also cited unnamed sources claiming Opera was "talking to potential buyers right now". It noted that the company's leadership team was considering becoming part of a larger, privately-held or public company instead of trying to grow the business independently. The source was unable to confirm if Facebook was one of the interested parties, but told TNW that the deal "would make sense".

Editorial standards