SEATTLE Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) gauged
Facebook's interest in a possible acquisition after the
software giant's failed takeover attempt of Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O),
the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper reported on its Web site that Microsoft's
bankers put out subtle signals to Facebook, the social
networking Web site, to see if it would be open to a full
The talks were first reported by Web site All Things
Digital, owned by Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones.
Facebook spokeswoman Brandee Barker declined to comment on
the report. Microsoft officials were not immediately available
In October, Microsoft took a $240 million stake in
Facebook, which valued the start-up at $15 billion. Citing an
unnamed source, the report said there are no active discussions
between the two companies.
The news came a few days after Microsoft dropped its
unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo for $47.5 billion. The aim of
that proposal was to build an online advertising powerhouse to
rival Google Inc. (GOOG.O)
Facebook, founded in 2004 by Harvard student Mark
Zuckerberg, has become one of the hottest properties on the
Internet because of its rapid growth and the loyalty of its
users. Facebook has more than 70 million active users.
In the past, Zuckerberg has resisted selling the entire
company, opting to work toward an initial public offering.
Shares of Microsoft were up 5 cents at $29.75 in afternoon
(Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Anupreeta Das in San
Francisco; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dave Zimmerman)