Facebook is worth $52 billion, and that’s not a good thing.

Reuters: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reacts after unveiling a new messaging system in San Francisco

Reuters: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reacts after unveiling a new messaging system in San Francisco

Another week, another surge in Facebook’s putative valuation.

Facebook is now worth $52.1 billion, according to, up from $50 billion two weeks ago when someone bought a large chunk of its shares on SecondMarket, an online exchange for privately held stocks.

At $52 billion, Facebook is worth more than eBay, Time Warner and News Corp. It’s worth two Yahoos, and worth nearly a third of Google’s $191 billion valuation. Which may not seem unrealistic, until you recall that Google’s revenue will top $20 billion this year, or ten times Facebook’s estimate.

And Facebook may end the week being worth substantially more, because another secondary exchange, SharesPost, is holding an auction with a minimum bidding price of $23 per Facebook share. That values Facebook at $52.1 billion, and demand for the auction is almost certain to push the winning bid higher than that.

The valuations are specious, though, because they aren’t derived by the wisdom of the crowd in the public markets, or even the wisdom of a group of seasoned venture investors. Instead, the valuation is set on a series of fragmented secondary exchanges that sell Facebook stakes piecemeal, in highly illiquid auctions that can drive up the bidding prices when demand outstrips supply.

from Commentaries:

Gut feeling: How Google CEO valued YouTube deal

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, sits for an interview at the Newseum in Washington on Oct. 2, 2009Let the second-guessing, the mock horror, the disbelief, the crowing begin.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has acknowledged he realized upfront that he was overpaying to acquire YouTube, to the tune of $1 billion, judged by any conventional measures.

The many critics of Google's $1.65 billion deal to acquire the video-sharing site three years ago will claim this confirms everything they have always said about the deal. Not quite.

In fact, not really at all.

Schmidt came clean in a deposition by lawyers in the Viacom copyright lawsuit that there was very little revenue coming into YouTube to justify the price his company paid.

from Commentaries:

#Twitter business math: Counting backward from billions

1 billion 



$140,000,000 = Projected 2010 revenue in U.S. dollars according to Twitter February 2009 financial forecast leaked to TechCrunch. (*2)

100 million = Projected number of Twitter users in fourth quarter 2010 according to leaked spreadsheet. (*2)

75 million = Twitter members in May 2009 based on rough calculation of worldwide users, extrapolated from comScore and All Things D data (*3, *4)

Data Domain, EMC’s deal that nearly got away: Eric Auchard

 – Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
By Eric Auchard

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) – The quickest way to attract a marriage proposal is to draw the attentions of a rival suitor.

When Data Domain <DDUP.O> agreed terms with fellow data storage company Network Appliance <NTAP.O> it concentrated minds at EMC <EMC.N>.