Facebook rejected Microsoft offer
Microsoft has confirmed that it tried to buy Facebook for $15bn
Speaking at a panel entitled "How to get acquired" at the Le Web conference in Paris, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Strategy and Acquisitions Fritz Lanman answered a question from host Loic Le Meur by saying "Yeah we tried to acquire Facebook. Facebook had a lot of similarities to Microsoft back in the day."
The answer confirms a rumour that was first reported in detail in David Kirkpatrick’s book “The Facebook Effect”
Onstage, Lanman also speculated that Facebook’s valuation could in the future rise as high as Microsoft’s.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rejected Steve Ballmer’s offers to buy the social network for $15 billion in 2007. Instead, Microsoft invested $240m for a small stake, and the two companies now work together in a search partnership.
In The Facebook Effect, Kirkpatrick writes that Ballmer asked Zuckerberg ““Why don’t we just buy you for $15 billion?” He was told “I don’t want to sell the company unless I can keep control.”
Kirkpatrick goes on, “Ballmer took this reply as a sort of challenge. He went back to Microsoft’s headquarters and concocted a plan intended to acquire Facebook in stages over a period of years to enable Zuckerberg to keep calling the shots. But Zuckerberg rejected all the overtures.”