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Frank B.

rumour Facebook to buy Opera?

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Facebook to acquire browser maker Opera? Maybe. Here?s what we know.

Juicy rumor coming from Pocket-lint this morning: Facebook is reportedly eyeing a takeover of desktop, tablet and smartphone browser maker Opera Software.

Citing an unnamed source, Pocket-lint says the social network juggernaut is considering an outright acquisition of the Norwegian software company to accelerate a move onto the battlefields where the browser wars between Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Apple and since recently Yahoo are being fought.

But not so fast. First of all, we asked Opera Software for an official response on the report, and a spokesperson declined to comment.

One source close to the company, however, tells us two interesting things:

1) Opera Software management is talking to potential buyers right now.

Currently listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, the company?s leadership is said to consider becoming part of a larger privately-held or public company rather than trying to keep growing the business independently.

2) We?re told that there?s currently a hiring freeze at Opera, which is a surefire sign that something big is about to happen ? or at least that Opera wants something big to happen.

We?re trying to get more sources to corroborate these stories, but the above comes from a very solid source. Our source was unable to confirm whether Facebook was one of the potential acquirers, but said it ?would make sense?.

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Indeed, an acquisition of Opera could give Facebook a major boost if they decide to enter the browser wars for real (and they may eventually have to).

As the company itself admitted when it filed to go public, it has some issues monetizing mobile right now, and that?s where its users are increasingly heading to visit Facebook.

Facebook has long been rumored to be working on a full-fledged mobile operating system based on Android, and even its own (HTC-made?) ?social? smartphone.

Buying Opera would certainly make more sense for Facebook than to do it all from scratch, but for now this is almost all speculation. On to the facts:

About 270 million people use Opera browsers every month, the software company claims. Furthermore, more than 168 million people used the Opera Mini browser in March 2012, with a total of 117 billion pages served.

The company has deals with mobile device (and TV) OEMs and carriers worldwide.

Opera also just bought not one but two mobile advertising companies (after picking up AdMarvel back in January 2010).

opera2.png

Opera boasts more than 750 employees today and a strong executive team. Its chief technology officer, H?kon Wium Lie, is a pioneer in the Web field and a standards expert who is often described as the ?father of CSS?.

Established as an independent company back in 1995, Opera expects to book roughly $50 million in revenue for the second quarter of the year. Its market cap currently hovers around $670 million.

That would make it an expensive purchase, but Facebook?s recent IPO certainly put the social networking company in a solid position to close major deals like an Opera Software acquisition. Let?s not forget it spent $1 billion to buy Instagram.

All this does not mean Opera will end up selling, and it doesn?t mean Facebook will be the buyer if they do. But for now, Opera execs are definitely talking to a number of different companies about what a deal could look like, our source asserts. Other likely suitors include search giants Yandex (Russia) and, yes, Google.

When we learn more, you?ll learn more.

Source: The Next Web

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In a way, it would be good because it would push Opera into the mainstream. At the same time, it would be bad because Facebook is sort of a POS company and I don't trust them.

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I've recently switched from opera to Chrome, but am debating to go back to Opera. However if Facebook gets a hold of it, I'm never touching Opera again.

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**** maan!!!!!!! Facebook is the new Google! The new MS! Man run for your lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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spending the cash it seems :p

would be an interesting acquisition

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I was in thought of switching to Opera if Firefox ever land "Australis" (crap) while now I will stay away from it. Also Firefox cheap Hardware Acceleration is another reason I am currently using Chromium 21 Snapshot.

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A little concerned about this.

Keeping in mind, Opera Mini uses proxy servers to compress data. By design, that also includes secure sites. Now what if Facebook got a hold of that?

On the positive side, Facebook's site was always flaky in Opera so it'll be natural for them to finally give the browser due attention.

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I am excited by this possibility.

I love Facebook, and I would love if they started producing browsers, mobile phone operating systems etc. There isn't yet a company out there that provides the cohesive, unified experience I'm after. Perhaps Facebook will be able to crack it :)

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I hope not. While I don't hate Facebook and use it regularly, I don't think they need to be in control of a browser. I really like Opera (if IE9 wasn't as good as it is, I'd still be using Opera as my primary browser), and it is currently my backup browser. Considering I hate using both Firefox and Chrome, I rather hope Opera doesn't go down the gutter; its nice having a choice between IE and Opera, whichever is better for me at the time. :)

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I asked H?kon Wium Lie how good the Opera sandwiches were on a scale of 1-10 once. He responded "Defiantly 11. Opera is 11." (version 11 has just been released)

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What's wrong with Facebook? They spoil whatever company they buy. :o

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They seem to be trying to buy everything lately. Would've done the same if I was valued at $100b

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They seem to be trying to buy everything lately. Would've done the same if I was valued at $100b

Its $68b now

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Its $68b now

Oh wow...

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What's wrong with Facebook? They spoil whatever company they buy. :o

Do you have any examples? They often buy companies for their talent, so those companies close down their business. That's not solely Facebook's fault; it's also the fault of the company who agreed to be bought. I don't mind if Facebook buy a company that then closes down because Facebook is the web service that I'd like to use for as much of my online activity as possible (web search, email, sharing photos, checking in etc.)

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Would this mean Opera would become something like RockMelt?

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I really rather they didn't. I have no love for Opera, but then again I have no love for Facebook.

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Other likely suitors include search giants Yandex (Russia) and, yes, Google.

Hmm... that's a little worrying! Why would google want to purchase Opera when they have their own successful browser with Chrome, other than to kill it off? ...the browser market *needs* competition, and that's why it's great to have major players like Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and Opera - having such stiff competition is good, as it's really driving standards (like HTML5) forward as each developer competes to have the best/most standard compliant product - we really don't want to see a return to the days when a single browser dominated (IE) and so the developers (Microsoft) didn't see any sense of urgency to bother updating their browser (IE 6 anyone!?), as very little was competing with it!

Whilst I'm not sure whether Facebook potentially buying Opera is a good thing or not (it'd certainly raise the profile/browser share of Opera!), Google potentially buying Opera would be a bad move imho!

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this would be terrible, only thing worse would be apple buys opera...

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Hmm... that's a little worrying! Why would google want to purchase Opera when they have their own successful browser with Chrome, other than to kill it off? ...the browser market *needs* competition, and that's why it's great to have major players like Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and Opera - having such stiff competition is good, as it's really driving standards (like HTML5) forward as each developer competes to have the best/most standard compliant product - we really don't want to see a return to the days when a single browser dominated (IE) and so the developers (Microsoft) didn't see any sense of urgency to bother updating their browser (IE 6 anyone!?), as very little was competing with it!

Whilst I'm not sure whether Facebook potentially buying Opera is a good thing or not (it'd certainly raise the profile/browser share of Opera!), Google potentially buying Opera would be a bad move imho!

Amen, loving Opera, it has a lot of quirks but Opera Next is becoming better by the day. Every time I fire up another browser (be it on my computers or somewhere else) I instantly realize why I prefer Opera. I absolutely hate Chrome,

it feels sterile and I just hate the way WebKit renders (it's subtle but noticeable). I'm worried of what could happen if Facebook buys Opera, but then again, if Facebook wants to throw money at Opera and the browser would benefit,

then I'm all for it (rather some obscure company that wouldn't really be able to keep up rapid development of the browser).

Also, Yandex would make a lot of sense, Opera is still very popular in Russia (probably because of the Turbo-boost image compression in the early days and by now it became a favorite)

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Now we got a show! Facebook takes over Opera, and gives the browser the attention it needs and deserves. Then we have Google with Chrome, Facebook with Opera, Microsoft with IE, Apple with Safari, and Firefox as the last Free Open Source Browser! Competition is good

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Hmm... that's a little worrying! Why would google want to purchase Opera when they have their own successful browser with Chrome, other than to kill it off? ...the browser market *needs* competition, and that's why it's great to have major players like Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, Apple, and Opera - having such stiff competition is good, as it's really driving standards (like HTML5) forward as each developer competes to have the best/most standard compliant product - we really don't want to see a return to the days when a single browser dominated (IE) and so the developers (Microsoft) didn't see any sense of urgency to bother updating their browser (IE 6 anyone!?), as very little was competing with it!

Whilst I'm not sure whether Facebook potentially buying Opera is a good thing or not (it'd certainly raise the profile/browser share of Opera!), Google potentially buying Opera would be a bad move imho!

Opera never has and never will be any competition in the browser market, even their slight hold on mobile is decreasing since hell even the built in browser is a better option

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Opera never has and never will be any competition in the browser market, even their slight hold on mobile is decreasing since hell even the built in browser is a better option

Opera is still considered one of the "5 major browsers" (along with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari)... Granted, Opera may have the smallest share of the 5, and so is arguably the least significant, but their user base shows no signs of decreasing, and so it retains a degree competition with the other 4, hence why I could see Google being interested in acquiring Opera's assets in order to shut it down, and therefore further increase Chrome's ever growing market share.

But I can also see potential for Opera's market share really increasing if Facebook do purchase it instead, because If FB own their own browser I can see them adding "Opera-specific features" to the FB user experience in an effort to encourage users to ditch their current browser in favor of FB's own "Opera" browser.

Incidentally, Opera have made some significant leaps forward in recent weeks in preparation for their forthcoming version 12 release, particularly in terms of performance and compliance with standards (such as HTML 5), which even if Opera isn't sold, I think could still potentially see a noticeable increase in Opera's share of the browser market lather this year post-Opera 12.00 launch

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I like Facebook and I like Opera but somehow this doesn't seem to make me happy. I am concerned what will happen to Opera if FB takes over and takes it in the "social" direction. you know focus less on standards compliance and improving the browser and more on the social features and putting direct Facebook integration into it which I wouldn't want.

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I could see it if they intended to supersede their current site design with their own code instead of relying on current browser standards.

But really, I can't see it actually happening. The rumor mill just likes to pull things out of their butt for page views.

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