After weeks of speculation, Microsoft appears to have won a battle with Google over who would get a stake in Facebook, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Microsoft and Facebook were close to a deal, according to the source. Exact details were not immediately available, but the deal is expected to include at least an ownership stake in Facebook and an expansion of Microsoft's current Facebook advertising deal, which only covers the U.S.
Google and Microsoft had both been said to be bidding hard for a deal with fast-growing Facebook. The move, while expected to be pricey for Microsoft, could give its online services push a much needed boost. The company has lost out on other high-profile deals, including MySpace and has struggled in its bid to gain market share in the core search business.