What to make of the Microsoft investment in Facebook? I met an investment exec for Microsoft exec last night at the WF360-degree event hosted at the NYSE who argued against critics, saying the 1.5 percent Microsoft got for their $250 million is just what they wanted … a piece of the action, a way to influence decisions, and a way to learn learn learn about social networking, distributed media, etc. As he wrote on his blog:
Do I get more strategic value or influence with $1.5B than with $240M?" My guess is that you get the same amount of influence, access to decisions and people, with $240M as you do with $1.5B. So, why not reduce your cash outlay and risk by only investing $240M?
He hypothesized that Google might have lost the bid because they would likely have demanded something like 15 percent of the company and a seat on the board. Not to mention that now Google and Yahoo are frozen out – at least that's what's been said.
(PS Sorry I've been quiet – simply swamped with, um, paid work.)