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Opera surges on Facebook takeover rumour

29 May 2012, 13:59

 Cape Town - Shares in Opera Software have surged by 26% on rumours that Facebook is looking to buy the browser manufacturer.

According to a Guardian report, the rumours that Facebook will buy Opera has sent the share price of the Norway-based company up by 26% on Tuesday.

Opera is the most popular browser on mobile devices and enjoys a particularly strong lead in developing markets where the software allows an up to 90% shrinking of web pages' data footprint for display on a cellphone.

Opera would not confirm nor deny the rumour.

"We never comment on market rumours," the company told News24.

The firm was valued at $800m on Tuesday.

"In our view, a bid for Opera makes strategic sense for Facebook, and we have previously discussed the possibilities for co-operation between the two companies," an analyst at Norwegian bank DNB said.

Facebook has been widely rumoured to be building its own smartphone for release in 2013 and analysts have speculated that social networking titan will use the smartphone to bolster its advertising footprint.

The social network is flush with cash after its public offering and reports have indicated that it may be on a shopping spree.

According to Israeli business publication Calcalist, Facebook is in negotiations to acquire facial-recognition technology company Face.com for between $80m to $100m.

Facebook has been stung after its hyped initial public offering with a share price that has slumped, resulting in lawsuits amid concerns that information about the company outlook may have been hidden from investors.

The platform, which boosts over 900 million global users, has come in for some criticism that it has not moved fast enough to deliver effective advertising on mobile platforms.

Opera makes desktop as well as mobile browsers, and while the desktop arena is dominated by Google's Chrome browser, Opera Mini is used by over 250 million users, particularly in developing markets each month.
- News24


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