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Facebook Plays Acquisition Brinkmanship

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship with potential suitors. Instead of cashing-out for $800 million, the young entrepreneur is holding out for $2 billion.

In the meantime, Business Week reports the site is starting to lose popularity and with the decline in growth, might come a decline in purchase price. Potential buyers such as Viacom and Yahoo, are content to sit back and wait, hoping to get a cheaper price tag.

Now, however, with traffic that may be declining alongside the always-elusive “cool factor” among fickle collegians, potential buyers are more inclined to wait in the hope that Facebook’s price may drop. For his part, Zuckerberg appears to be in no rush to make a quick exit to the bank. “We’re focused on building the business,” says marketing director Melanie Deitch. “We’re doing extremely well and we’re having fun.”

Wired Publisher Acquires Reddit

Another acquisition for your reading pleasure. This time, TechCrunch is reporting Conde Nast, owner of Wired magazine among others, has acquired social bookmarking site Reddit.

All four reddit employees will relocate from Boston to Wired’s San Francisco office and become part of Wired Digital. Reddit, founded and funded in 2005, is a YCombinator company (see our interview with YCombinator founder Paul Graham here). The two original founders are Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, and they were later joined by Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz.

Reddit works a lot like Digg. Although the user base is not as large as Digg’s, Reddit has certainly started to show-up a lot more in my referral logs.

Google Acquires Jotspot, What Happened to Yahoo?

Google’s just announced their acquisition of wiki company Jotspot, finally putting to rest that Yahoo was close to acquiring the company.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but there’s plenty of other information out there. According to Jotspot’s Joe Kraus

As we built the business over the past three years Google consistently attracted our attention. We watched them acquire Writely, and launch Google Groups, Google Spreadsheets and Google Apps for Your Domain. It was pretty apparent that Google shared our vision for how groups of people can create, manage and share information online. Then when we had conversations with people at Google we found ourselves completing each other’s sentences. Joining Google allows us to plug into the resources that only a company of Google’s scale can offer, like a huge audience, access to world-class data centers and a team of incredibly smart people.

SideStep Acquires Hotel Review Site TravelPost.com

 I’ve been doing a lot of research in the hotel space just recently – and I’m not just talking about planning my next vacation either! So, I’ve learned a lot about TripAdvisor wannabe, TravelPost, and their efforts to grow their user numbers to more than 700,000 monthly visitors.

Not surprisingly, travel search site SideStep has decided they’d like to take advantage of that great community, acquire TravelPost and add it to their 5 million monthly users.

The deal, for undisclosed financial terms, is aimed at offering an independent alternative to travel industry-backed sites. SideStep plans to combine TravelPost’s reviews with its own site in the coming months, matching travelers with hotels based on advice from people with similar interests.

Blog Aggregator Blogniscient Acquired

Top10Media, owners of TopTenSources (a human edited blog aggregator), have decided they can’t fully rely on the human intervention model and have acquired blog aggregator Blogniscient.

Never heard of Blogniscient? Here’s what they have to say about themselves…

Blogniscient categorizes and ranks blogs and blog articles in real time, providing up-to-date information on the hottest blog entries in a user-friendly format. Blogniscient organizes blogs and blog articles by category, allowing you to easily navigate between categories of interest and see the most sought-after information within each category.

Hat-tip to the TC guys.

Yahoo Tries to Jump-Start Talks with AOL

  Fortune has learned Yahoo has recently approached Time Warner in an effort to try and buy AOL…again!

Here’s what Fortune has to say about the benefits of Yahoo buying AOL…

Swallowing AOL won’t transform Yahoo, but would give it increased traffic and a shot in the arm for its search-advertising business. The real question is whether Time Warner wants to sell. “Time Warner has a new strategy for AOL and is not contemplating any deals,” says a company spokesman. Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet estimates AOL is worth about $13 billion. Of course, Time Warner might demand more.