July 28, 2010 / 1:38 AM / in 8 years

Google in talks to build Facebook competitor: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc has held talks with gaming companies as it looks to develop a new service to compete with social networking website Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Attendees await the beginning of the unveiling of the Nexus One Android smartphone at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California January 5, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The Internet giant has had talks with makers of online games for the service including Playdom Inc, Electronic Arts Inc’s Playfish and Zynga Game Network Inc, the report said.

The report said is unclear when the new offering will be launched.

Google already owns and operates social networking site Orkut. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.

Walt Disney Co said earlier on Tuesday it is planning to acquire Playdom for $563.2 million, as the young but fast-growing market for Internet games on Facebook and other websites has exploded, increasing the links between social gaming developers and social networking.

Reporting by Michael Erman, editing by Bernard Orr

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