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Facebook hasn't even gone public, and already outsiders are trying to spend its billions.
"Speculation intensifies that it already has a major acquisition in mind," Geoff Foster of U.K.'s Daily Mail writes. "Step forward, struggling BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion."
This is sheer lunacy, of course. Facebook's stock would tumble if it acquired the decaying Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) . Even if RIM handed itself over to Mark Zuckerberg for free, the price of freshly minted shares of Facebook would fall like leaves.
The same article speculates that Facebook may have to enter a bidding war with Vodafone (Nasdaq: VOD ) for RIM.
Wow. A fading smartphone pioneer -- that will most likely die an old maid -- is now the belle of the buyout ball?
Don't believe it. I wouldn't put it past Vodafone to make a play for RIM. It has an eclectic enough portfolio of global telecom properties that buying RIM in the single digits may make sense. There's just no way Facebook would get involved.
And it's not just about what this would do to Facebook's stock. Buying RIM would simply be a terrible business move. We live in a mobile world, and Facebook's global success has been largely the result of its app popularity on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iOS devices. If Facebook snapped up RIM, it would make Facebook seem less mobile operating system-agnostic.
How would Google take it, especially now that it's already battling Facebook with Google+? Why would Apple not roll out a social network of its own if it sees that two platforms are tethered to BlackBerry and Android?
Zuckerberg has made a few questionable moves -- paying $1 billion for Instagram, for starters. However, he's smart enough not to sabotage his stock and his company with a destructive buyout. He'd be wearing a hoodie just to hide from investors if he ever tried to pull that off.
Face the music
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