The Rumors Are Back: Bebo $1 Billion Acquisition “Definetely Happened” Says TechCrunch Source

Posted Feb 13, 2008

The rumor mill for a Bebo acquisition is flooding again.  TechCrunch announced today that Bebo was acquired for a rumored $1 billion.  “A high level source has told us that Bebo has been in discussions via their investment bank, Allen & Co., with a number of potential buyers, and says that the company signed a deal on Monday to be acquired,” wrote TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington.

Arrington also followed up by saying that the second largest UK-based social network either actually signed the deal or sent out wrong messages about it.  But given the reputation of their investment bank, the latter seems unlikely.

The buyer is unknown, but there are a lot of guesses out there: Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, CBS, Viacom, Comcast, etc.  Who is your guess?  My guess is that it wasn’t Microsoft wasn’t it since they already plugged $240 million into Facebook.  Google already has Orkut, but Bebo could be their way of penetrating the European market.  Viacom could use Bebo as a means of connecting MTV watchers.   I doubt Comcast would spend $1 billion when their market cap is about $52 billion.  Yahoo! is acquiring a few companies here and there, but judging by their layoffs from earlier today, they don’t want to spend such a large amount right now.

Google seems like the most likely buyer.  Google could somehow integrate Orkut, YouTube, and Bebo together.  And that would be interesting.