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Is Facebook about to acquire Opera Software?

by Mark Tyson on 25 May 2012, 22:15

Tags: Opera (OPERA.OL), Facebook

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabhar

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Facebook, sitting on a huge pile of cash right now, are looking to diversify a bit by spending some of their money on Norwegian browser company Opera. Earlier today mobile gadget website Pocket-lint broke the story as one of their sources said that the deal is being prepared presently. “According to our man in the know, the company (Facebook) could be about to expand into the browser space to take on the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and now even Yahoo, who has recently launched its own browser.”

Seeing as Facebook’s major competitors have browsers it does seem like a good fit for the company’s expansion plans. Opera is a well regarded browser, especially in the mobile market, which is in the ascendancy compared to the desktop market. There has been talk previously of a Facebook Phone and even a Facebook OS so this is a useful pre-built solution to bolt onto the company.

From the other side of the table TheNextWeb (TNW) talked to “a source close to Opera” and they have confirmed Opera Software is currently in talks with potential buyers. Also there is a hiring freeze at Opera, something that usually happens before a big structural change.

Opera claims an estimated 200 million users across all platforms and also have recently acquired mobile advertising muscle in the form of two companies they picked up earlier this year; Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising.

Monetisation and in particular mobile advertising is seen as a big weakness of Facebook, so here again we see a good match in the making. Mobile Theory serve over 2 billion ads a month and 4th Screen Advertising has a lot of big name clients under their belt such as Vodafone, O2, Disney, Barclays and Nokia. This is just what Facebook needs after General Motors deciding to stop all their adverts on the social network site.

It will be interesting to see the price for Opera considering Facebook spent so much on Instagram. Perhaps gaining the mobile advertising expertise of Opera and their recent aquisitions is more important to Facebook than the Opera browser the company is most famous for. In any case it seems like a good fit for Facebook, though some Opera fans might disagree.



HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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Totally comes out of the blue in my opinion. Opera selling out to Facebook? Damn. Maybe Facebook will work in its entirety in Opera once that happens, but still. Also, what about RockMelt?
Facebook is the new Apple and EA and maybe MS, STAY AWAY FACEBOOK I HATE YOU AND YOUR STUPID UGLY GUI DESIGNS AND CONSTANT TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

I hate facebook, only reason i use it is that everyone else does :( , twitter is better but still have major flaws. I can see Opera having integrated FB now and i will have to give it up again if that happens.
Hicks12
Facebook is the new Apple and EA and maybe MS, STAY AWAY FACEBOOK I HATE YOU AND YOUR STUPID UGLY GUI DESIGNS AND CONSTANT TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

I hate facebook, only reason i use it is that everyone else does :( , twitter is better but still have major flaws. I can see Opera having integrated FB now and i will have to give it up again if that happens.

The difference is that all of the above, except Facebook, have a foreseeable future.

Microsoft is very good at longevity, they have a very active R&D department although we rarely see what comes out of it. Oh and everyone on the planet uses Microsoft and so does everyone's software… Not to mention their gaming side which is very respected these days.

Apple is Apple, they'll probably remain chic, overpriced and popular. They've got a big handle on the smartphone and tablet markets and they're slowly nibbling at computer market shares (laptops in particular).

EA.. not sure about this one. They're easily the worst out of your mentioned companies with regard to employee rights and ethics. Say what you will about Apple/MS/Facebook, they are all spectacular places to work and you're treated very well. EA will bleed you dry and then stamp on your corpse to get a bit more out.

I would imagine Facebook has about 5-10 years left, tops. If they get their marketing/ad strategy wrong, they will start haemorraging users like no tomorrow. Going public was the nail in their coffin, IMO.
Well not really surprised something like this would happen. Facebook investors want to see a return on their investment so the only thing Facebook can do that presently is through advertising. They've got the money and Opera seem willing.

Thank god I don't use Facebook anymore since the privacy issues they had. Can you imagine now how many ads are going to pop up now.
I like the opera browser, I hope the facebook guys don't screw around with it too much.