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Report: Google in acquisition talks with Digg

Social-news site, a perpetual target of acquisition rumors, is in "final negotiations" to sell itself to Google for $200 million, sources tell TechCrunch.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Social-news site Digg.com, a perpetual target of acquisition rumors, is in "final negotiations" to sell itself to Google for $200 million, according to a TechCrunch report Tuesday that cited multiple sources.

Google has been in talks to bring Digg into the Google News group, but it could be a few weeks before the deal closes, if it closes, according to the report.

Representatives for Google and Digg did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Usually a "no comment" or the like is the response to questions about rumored acquisition negotiations. However, that was not the case in March--when the Digg takeover rumor mill was in full swing.

Rumors back in March that the social news site might be purchased by Google, Microsoft, or a major media company had whipped a sizable number of Digg users into a panic. Digg CEO Jay Adelson, perhaps in an effort to assuage those fears of having a corporate owner, posted a blog that month that seemed to go a little above and beyond the call to deny the rumors.

"Normally our policy is to not comment about things like this," Adelson wrote in March, "but this morning's rumors about a bidding war involving Google and Microsoft have created such a stir we feel compelled to tell you all directly that they are completely inaccurate." He continued: "Sorry to burst any drama theories, but they aren't true. We remain focused on improving Digg and rolling out great features."

In contrast, the silence this time around is a bit curious. Digg users, meanwhile, have been more vocal with their opinions. In addition to how much compensation founder Kevin Rose and others in the Diggnation would receive was bandied about, some Digg users expressed relief that Google appears to be beating out Microsoft in this race.

"I would rather have Digg sold to Google than to Microsoft," wrote one user who goes by the name neil1492. "Although it's odd how Google is buying up almost everything on the Internet. What gives?"

Meanwhile, the Regular Geek blog welcomed the prospect of a takeover, arguing that it would give Digg some of the Google cachet:

By becoming a member of the Google family, they instantly get put on the mainstream fast-track. Google also gets a property that can compete with Yahoo Buzz. The biggest problem current Digg users may have is the flood of new users to the service. Digg is not overly welcoming so it would be interesting to see how that progresses.

Will the rumor prove true this time around? Stay tuned.