There Are Only A Few Hours Left For Facebook To Rush In And Break Up The Yahoo-Tumblr Deal

Yahoo’s board is meeting Sunday evening to decide whether to buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash, Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka reported last night.

So that means there are only a few hours left for Facebook to submit a compelling counter-offer.

Anecdotally, young people are deciding that Facebook is no longer cool and are decamping for Instagram and Tumblr.

Facebook already owns Instagram.

So now the question is whether it also wants to own Tumblr.

The man who broke the original Yahoo-might-buy-Tumblr story (along with Ms. Swisher), Peter Kafka, told us this morning that thinks the chatter that Facebook will swoop in with a massive wad of cash at the last moment is overblown.

Facebook has had plenty of opportunity to buy Tumblr, Mr. Kafka suggests.

If Facebook actually wanted Tumblr, in other words, Facebook would have already bought Tumblr.

So that leaves Yahoo.

According to Ms. Swisher and Mr. Kafka, the Yahoo-Tumblr deal is already fully baked, with Tumblr founder David Karp getting a four-year deal to stay on as Tumblr boss and grow the site independently from Yahoo. This may mean that Yahoo is not planning to aggressively “monetise” Tumblr after the deal, and that Yahoo will therefore not have to deal immediately with Tumblr’s reported porn problem.

The $1.1 billion purchase price, meanwhile, will vaporize more than a third of Yahoo’s cash balance, which will presumably leave some at the company wondering whether Yahoo should have spent so much money buying back its stock over the last couple of quarters.

In any event, we’ll know in a few more hours whether Facebook really wants Tumblr or whether it’s going, going, gone to Marissa Mayer and Yahoo…

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