Looks like Yahoo’s not buying Tumblr

February 10, 2009

Gawker/Valleywag created a bit of stir on the blogosphere Monday with its report that Yahoo was in talks to buy blogging startup Tumblr for “low to mid-eight figures,” or as much as $50 million.

From the post:

We hear the talks are serious, led by Tapan Bhat, a fast-rising executive in charge of Yahoo’s homepage and other key properties — but as with any acquisition talks, they could fall apart.

We figured Yahoo’s new CEO Carol Bartz was too busy figuring out where Yahoo should seek growth and how to stem the leaky ship to pursue an acquisition. Sure enough, Silicon Alley Insider knocked down the Valleywag story by getting Tumblr founder David Karp on the record:

We called David and he said the rumor is categorically false. “We’re just hearing about this now,” he said.

Speaking of acquisitions, it seems like no one’s doing too well with the stuff they’ve bought. Just a couple of days ago, News Corp wrote down the value of its $5.6 billion 2007 acquisition of Dow Jones. And yesterday, Cablevision said it would write down its acquisition of Newsday by $375 million to $450 million. As you may remember, Cablevision bought the Long Island paper just last year for $650 million.

Keep an eye on:
  • The recession has taken a heavy toll on sales of celebrity gossip magazines, but magazine circulation in general has held up well, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. (NYTimes)
  • Google has developed a free Web service called PowerMeter for consumers to track energy use in their house or business. (NYTimes)
  • DirecTV Group added more subscribers than expected during the fourth quarter but rising marketing costs and other expenses dragged down its quarterly profit. (Reuters)
  • Omnicom Group shows more resilience to budget cutbacks than Wall Street had expected, but profit still falls 14 percent. (Reuters)
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