Microsoft Talking to Facebook for Possible Deal - AllThingsD

May. 8.08 | About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

According to WSJ and, (a Web site owned by Dow Jones), Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) bankers recently contacted Facebook Inc. to gauge the Internet company’s willingness to sell Facebook to the software giant.

There are no active discussions between the two companies, a person familiar with the matter said - and it’s unclear if closely held Facebook would sell.

Additionally, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates told the press in Tokyo yesterday that the company “isn’t pursuing other deals following the withdrawal of its $47.5 billion takeover bid for Yahoo.” Their experience dealing with Yahoo, apparently, has put them off acquisitions altogether.

But then again, just Monday Gates said “I wouldn’t rule out some partnerships but we don’t have anything imminent there” following a meeting and dinner with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

If this is not a contradiction, Microsoft apparently is changing corporate development strategies from one day to the next. Perhaps, their key goal is to let the market know that they really don’t want Yahoo in order to drive Yahoo’s pps down as far as possible. But one thing is still clear that the markets still anticipate a deal with Microsoft.

Getting back to Facebook rumor. Last year, Microsoft bought a 1.6% stake in the social-networking site worth $240 million and serves advertisements on the site. Microsoft’s investment implied a Facebook valuation of $15 billion.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in the past has resisted the idea of selling his whole company.