Facebook’s Acquisition Appetite Continues: Is Opera Software Next?

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Facebook's Acquisition Appetite Continues: Is Opera Software Next?

Even though its IPO didn’t meet expectations, it doesn’t mean that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) can’t continue with business as usual. A new rumor is swirling that its appetite for takeovers is continuing: this time its browser maker Opera Software.

According to The Next Web, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is looking at possibly acquiring the Norwegian company as a means to pick up its entry pace into the browser war battlefield with Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple and Yahoo.

A spokesperson for Opera Software did not comment but it didn’t stop Next Web from pursuing the story.

Here’s what they learned from the source about the possible acquisition.

1. Opera Software management is currently speaking to potential buyers.

Opera Software is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and its leadership is reviewing a possible joining with either a larger privately-held or public company as opposed to expanding the business autonomously.

2. There’s supposedly a hiring freeze at Opera. Is this a sign something may happen?

Should Facebook acquire Opera, again, it could be the catalyst to enter the browser wars. The company admitted as it went public that it faces challenges with monetizing mobile as its users are going this route to visit the site.

Rumors have been around a long time that Facebook has been working on a full-on, Android-based mobile operating system and a smartphone that is “social.”

Here’s Some Opera Software Facts

According to Next Web, here’s a few facts about Opera that supports a Facebook purchase.

  • About 270 million people use Opera browsers each month, according to the company. In March, more than 168 million people used the Opera Mini browser with 117 billion pages served.
  • The company has worldwide deals with mobile device (and TV) OEMs and carriers.
  • Opera recently bought two mobile advertising companies.
  • The company has more 750 employees and a strong executive team, especially its chief technology officer, Håkon Wium Lie; he is a Web field pioneer and a standards expert. He has been called the ‘father of CSS.’
  • The company has been around since 1995 and it is looking at $50 million in revenue for the second quarter of the year. Its market cap is around $670 million.

It would be a pricey purchase but Facebook recently spent $1 billion to buy Instagram.

The deal isn’t etched in stone as Opera hasn’t said it is definitely selling but the deal makes sense for a number of reasons. But Next Web also cites Yandex (Russia) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) as other suitors.

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