Friday, October 26, 2007

» Microsoft’s $240 million says Facebook no fad after all | Between the Lines |

» Microsoft’s $240 million says Facebook no fad after all | Between the Lines | "Updated: Guess Facebook isn’t a fad after all. And Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put up $240 million to prove it. In a statement, the two parties outlined Microsoft’s investment. The software giant will invest $240 million in Facebook and become the exclusive third party advertising platform for the social network.

The deal values Facebook at $15 billion. Facebook said it won’t detail investors beyond Microsoft at this point. Under the agreement, Microsoft “will be the exclusive third-party advertising platform partner for Facebook, and will begin to sell advertising for Facebook internationally in addition to the United States.”

Facebook says the deal enables it “to take our Microsoft partnership to the next level.” “It’s consistent with our focus on innovation and growth,” said Owen Van Natta, vice president of operations and chief revenue officer at Facebook, on a conference call.

Microsoft says the deal “is a great win for not only for our two companies, but also our collective users and advertisers.” “The opportunity to further collaborate as advertising partners is a big reason we have decided to take an equity stake, and is a strong statement of our confidence in the long-term economics of this partnership,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft in a statement.

“This signals a big vote of confidence from Microsoft’s largest advertising platform,” said Johnson on the conference call. He added that Facebook increases the inventory on Microsoft’s ad platform. “Our ad platform will get stronger and stronger.”

Chatter about the deal picked up this afternoon as reports emerged that Microsoft was the winner of the Facebook sweepstakes. Google didn’t have any direct comments about Microsoft’s Facebook investment.

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