A tutorial in how not to defuse a rumour, courtesy of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Asked about a reports that Microsoft was looking to buy the remaining 98.4% of the company it doesn’t already own, Zuck signals that he’s not interested. Reuters:
“You can tell, from our history and what we’ve done, that we really wanted to keep the company independent, by focusing on building and focusing on the long-term,” Zuckerberg told Reuters while in Japan to launch a Japanese language version of Facebook.
OK, that’s pretty clear. But why not just go ahead and say that you have no interest in selling to Microsoft, and that your bankers aren’t talking to Steve Ballmer’s bankers? Nope:
Asked specifically about the prospect of a sale, Zuckerberg declined to comment.
For the record, we think a Microsoft (MSFT) deal wouldn’t be a terrible idea. But we really don’t think that Zuck has any interest in selling out, yet. He seems gung ho on an IPO, and is beefing up his management team in advance of one. Still has to work on a business model, though.
Also, Facebook in Japan? Interesting. Far as we know that’s the third non-U.S. version the startup has launched (four, including a Spanish-language version).