Google buys Facebook

Two Web powerhouses unite in $25 billion deal

Editor's note: The following story is from InfoWorld's 2008 April Fool's spoof-news feature package. It is not true. Enjoy!

In a move that stunned Silicon Valley, Google announced it will purchase popular social network Facebook in a cash and stock deal valued at $25 billion.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a hastily arranged press conference where they outlined the key elements of the agreement.

Technically, Zuckerberg explained, Google is purchasing 98.4 percent of Facebook, leaving Microsoft with 1.6 percent ownership.

"We feel this accurately reflects Microsoft's market share in the Web 2.0 economy," Schmidt said.

Schmidt noted the many synergies between Google and Facebook that led to the deal.

"With the acquisition of Facebook, users will be able to take advantage of OpenSocial applications across all the major social networks on the planet," he said. "We'll be able to incorporate Facebook apps directly into Android, our new mobile operating system. And, frankly, we were losing too many of our top people to Facebook. So now they're all back where they belong. Forever."

Schmidt added that if the employees chose to move to another company, Google would buy that one, too. And the one after that, and so on. 

Some analysts view the move as part of more deep-seeded trend driving the search giant's acquisition strategy.

"Abandonment casts a long shadow in those compelled to overcompensate for certain inadequacies," said Dr. Edward Strand, analyst at the clinical practice of Kopff, Weiner & Strand. "In this way, Google is no different than many of the patients we treat everyday."

Zuckerberg would be put in charge of the new GoogleFace operation, sharing an office with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen on Google's satellite campus in Gilroy. The deal will need to be approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, but both CEOs expressed confidence that the merger will move forward.

At the conference Schmidt added that Google is taking this occasion to adopt a new corporate mantra. "'Don't be evil' has been a fine guide for a young, growing company," he said. "Now that Google has reached a certain level of maturity, it's time to move onto something less limiting. Thus, today we are proud to introduce our new motto: 'Google: Just because we can.'"

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