Yesterday, we reported that Facebook had shown some interest in purchasing Opera Software, the company that brought us the Opera browser. It would seem that Facebook is not the only company interested in this acquisition with analysts now believing that a bidding war could very well break out.
If such a scenario does break out, we could see Opera’s selling price surpass the $1 billion mark. So the question becomes, why would someone want to pay so much for the fifth most popular web browser? On the part of Facebook, Opera gives the social networking site greater visibility in the realm of mobile computing, an area that CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes will be a growing area, one that could potentially offer up new revenue streams for the company.
However, Facebook may have a fight on their hands as rival Google could very well try and stop this acquisition. Currently, Google is the default search engine for Opera and when you factor in the popularity that Opera enjoys within the emerging world, there is a strategic importance for Google to maintain their relationship with Opera or perhaps even consider buying them so as to keep them out of the hands of Facebook. This should be an interesting negotiation as along with Google and Facebook, there are other Internet players that have shown some interest in Opera as well. We’ll have to see which way the cards fall with this one.