Google, Microsoft may be eyeing Digg.com

March 7, 2008

Digg.com founder Kevin RoseIs Digg.com for sale?Even though founder Kevin Rose told CNET last month that the answer is “no”, today the answer appears to be “yes”.According to TechCrunch, Google and Microsoft may be prepared to fight over the popular Web site, which lets readers recommend articles to others.Digg has been working with investment bank Allen & Co, and is pitching big tech and media companies on a sale. It is even prepared to take less than the $300 million suggested late last year, TechCrunch said.Four companies, including Internet giants Google and Microsoft, are in heavy due diligence with Digg. The other two are media or news companies, TechCrunch said, adding that Google will likely bid $200-$225 million, which Digg would likely accept. Is Barry Diller’s IAC interested?TechCrunch expects a bidding war between Microsoft and Google.It wouldn’t be the first time they have butt heads over Digg. Last summer, Microsoft became the exclusive provider of display and contextual advertising on Digg.com, replacing Google.Then again, Silicon Alley Insider suggests that any offer over $100 million might be too much.Update: Digg CEO Jay Adelson speaks out on the company’s blog:

Normally our policy is to not comment about things like this, but this morning’s rumors about a bidding war involving Google and Microsoft have created such a stir we feel compelled to tell you all directly that they are completely inaccurate.Sorry to burst any drama theories, but they aren’t true. We remain focused on improving Digg and rolling out great features.

Alleyinsider’s Peter Kafka remains a bit skeptical over Adelson’s comments.(TechCrunch )Keep an eye on:

  • Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer pledged the company would gain share against Google in online advertising and Web searching, even if it’s his “last breath” at the company. (Reuters)
  • The board of National Public Radio its said chief executive, Ken Stern, was leaving after less than 18 months “by mutual agreement.” (NYT)

(Photo: Digg.com founder Kevin Rose, Digg.com)

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I have also been looking at digg and notice many sites using it.. but would the average person just go there? not sure..