Michael Arrington writes on Techcrunch that Digg has recently been in multiple acquisition discussions with a host of potential buyers, including News Corp.’s Fox Interactive.
Fox Interactive of course acquired MySpace and is a huge Google partner… Digg runs Google AdSense advertisements throughout their social news site. Digg could be valued at a minimum of $150 million.
It appears that rumors of the upcoming financing led News Corp. and possibly others to initiate acquisition discussions with Digg, and the discussions were subsequently opened up to other interested parties as well. No formal written offers for Digg were tabled, sources say, because Digg’s minimum sell price was at least $150 million.
Arrington points out that a point of controversy is the reported traffic numbers by Digg and their differentiation with comScore reporting:
…Digg’s claim of 20 million unique monthly visitors and steep monthly growth, whereas the Comscore’s most recent September report shows only 1.3 million monthly unique visitors and flat growth since April (see chart below). Comscore is notoriously flaky, and these numbers are for U.S. households only. Comscore is almost certainly significantly under-reporting Digg traffic.
Here’s a question. If Fox Interactive were to acquire Digg and somehow spin it into a MySpace partnered news site (no, not Fox News) which is monetized in part by Google AdSense… wouldn’t it make much more sense for Google to acquire the company, bring Kevin Rose into Google… and have Digg and YouTube sit right across from each other in some really groovy Google 2.0 IncubatorPlex?
Perhaps the real answer would be which company would lead to less exodus from Digg.com once the company is acquired?
Or would Yahoo buy the company out, merge it with del.icio.us & flickr somehow, and have one social media monster under their belts?