At Le Web conference in Paris, Microsoft's executive Fritz Lanman admitted that the software giant tried to buy Facebook."Yeah, we tried to acquire Facebook," Lanman said to TechCrunch. "Facebook had a lot of similarities to Microsoft back in the day."
Chatter of a Microsoft proposal to buy Facebook isn't new, but it's the first time that any Microsoft execs haven't come right out and admitted the buyout attempt. Nonetheless, author David Kirkpatrick provided details of Microsoft's $15 billion offer in his book "The Facebook Effect."
Of course, the deal never came to pass and Microsoft ended up paying $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook. At the time, Microsoft was criticized for inflating the Facebook value to $15 billion. But in retrospect it's looking like a good bet given that Facebook is now estimated to be worth some $50 billion.
In somewhat similiar story, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg pledging the majority of his fortune to charity, was the striking parallel between Zuckerberg and a young Bill Gates.