- TechCrunch reports Facebook (FB) is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones that can fly for five years without having to land. The acquisition price is said to be $60M.
- Facebook reportedly wants to use Titan's drones to offer Web access (presumably including Facebook services) to unconnected parts of the world, beginning in Africa. It would start by making 11K of Titan's Solara 60 drones.
- Mark Zuckerberg has been heavily promoting his Internet.org initiative to carriers and fellow tech giants, and has suggested the WhatsApp acquisition complements this effort.
- TechCrunch's report comes eight months after Google unveiled Project Loon, an initiative meant to provide 3G or faster Internet speeds to "rural, remote, and underserved areas" via hot-air balloons.
- If a Facebook/Titan deal provides a lift to UAV stocks the way the Google/Boston Dynamics deal gave a lift to robotics stocks, AeroVironment (AVAV) could get a boost.
- Update: A source tells CNBC Facebook will buy Titan for $60M.
at CNBC.com (Nov 18, 2014)