Three Reasons Microsoft Shouldn't Buy into Facebook, and One and a Half Reasons It Should

Kachina Shaw

1. Porn, porn, porn. The social-networking site is looking at a potential avalanche of subpoenas and maybe worse related to its response, or lack of, to explicit content and predatory behavior among some users toward underage users. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, says CIO Today, sent a subpoena for documents to the company after investigators found that site administrators failed to follow up on complaints about pornography and solicitation. Can more subpoenas be far behind?


2. Valuation. $10 billion? Maybe even $15 billion? What year is this? If Microsoft is, in truth, considering putting up half a bil for 5 percent, I'd be interested to see what kind of returns it expects to get. That's a sickening number, even for Mr. Moneybags and even for the "ideal testbed for the future of advertising," a Fortune writer David Kirkpatrick calls Facebook on My mom told me to buy low and sell high. It's still great advice.


3. What to do with it? Besides playing around with online advertising in the most expensive test environment possible, what will Microsoft do with Facebook that it can't do without it? As Matt Asay blogged on The Open Road, Microsoft would do well to walk away from this deal and put its effort into making Exchange and Outlook into social networking monsters. Go with your strengths. A Facebook buy would be a sign of "desperation," says's Vishesh Kumar.


On the other hand:


A half-point for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg being called, by Fortune's Kirkpatrick, who has met the young man, "the closest thing to Bill Gates I've seen since the original." You want to get that mojo on board.


And why should Microsoft buy that 5 percent or more of Facebook?


So nobody else can, of course. Oh, and it would be fun to say, "in your face, Facebook."

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