Microsoft buys $240 million stake in Facebook

We can all hate Facebook now. Microsoft and Facebook announced a deal yesterday where Microsoft would pay $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in the social networking Web site. Doing a little of that thing called math, we can now say that Facebook is worth approximately $15 billion. That’s a nice chunk of change.

Microsoft paid so much for the site because it felt it was in danger of losing the next generation of computer users. That, and it didn’t want Google, the other principal bidder for the Facebook stake, to gain yet another high profile advertising gig.

The reaction on Facebook to the sale has been somewhat tepid.

“Well microsoft got it, now we can watch as microsoft uses the info in our profile to sell to other companies and facebook slowly degrades it the quality of myspace yay,” said one user in the group “Don’t let microsoft buy facebook.” Others are comparing the sale to News Corp-MySpace deal from a few years ago, hinting that by “selling out,” MySpace lost a connection it had with its users.

These are exciting times for people who post their entire life online for all to see.

Microsoft Buys Stake in Facebook [New York Times]