Facebook's Next Acquisition - Opera Browser?
posted Saturday May 26, 2012 by Scott Ertz
It would appear that Facebook doesn't know when to stop. First they purchase Instagram, then they bought patents from Microsoft, then, of course, the disaster that was their IPO. With a pending lawsuit for misrepresenting growth rates and revenue, now would probably be the worst time to make a large purchase.
On the other hand, Facebook is seemingly run by a bunch of chimps, so logic doesn't factor into their decisions. Their current area of interest is in picking up a web browser. Considering the pending lawsuits include accusations about a rise in mobile browser and app-based users, neither of which Facebook is able to capitalize on, it does make some sense that they would be interested in teaming with or purchasing a browser company. Internet Explorer is out, for obvious reasons, and Chrome and Safari are both owned by companies they consider competition, so the only option left is Opera Software.
While Opera might not be a leader in the industry, or even a name more people know, it has markets in which it is strong.
In addition to having a mild presence on desktops and mobile phones, Opera is also the browser available on the Nintendo Wii. By joining forces with Facebook, it would ensure the Wii's Facebook integration would be high quality, and possibly even profitable. It would also add some ability to possibly make mobile Facebook profitable. It also gives Facebook a presence in a market that Google has recently gained a lot of traction in - browsers.
Opera has recently instituted a hiring freeze, which always happens right before a company makes a big move. Since the company is still under investigation and management don't know how to run a company, my guess is we will hear the end result of this rumor within the next few weeks, maybe even before this week is over.
So, if Facebook had its own, branded web browser, would you be inclined to use it? Let us know in the comments.
Los Angeles Times:Is Facebook going to buy Opera, make its own browser?
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