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Facebook Reportedly Wants to Buy Opera
Presumably it wants the 17-year-old browser house and its mobile smarts for its rumored Android phone and its mobile ad business

Facebook was hitting new lows on its seventh trading day Tuesday after Reuters reported that it was in discussions to buy Oslo-based Opera Software ASA for what could turn out to be over a billion dollars because of competition from Google and others. The numbers heard could put the price up as high as $1.35 billion.

Presumably Facebook wants the 17-year-old browser house and its mobile smarts for its rumored Android phone and its beleaguered mobile ad business. Facebook is having problems monetizing its site on mobile devices as more and more of its ocean of users go mobile. Opera already has a mobile ad business.

Google, of course, might take exception since it's Opera's default search partner on the Opera Mini, which can auto-adapt to a device's display, exactly what Facebook needs to do.

Opera has 700 employees and a reported 150 million users a month. It's popular in Russia and Indonesia where it's said to be one of the cheapest ways to get on the Internet by reducing page sizes so it saves on data.

Bloomberg says Opera might do $206 million this year, up 38%

Reuters and Bloomberg got the story from Pocket-lint, which suggests that Facebook also plans to buy Face.com, the Tel Aviv-based facial recognition software start-up, for $100 million.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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