Update: Microsoft Said to Be in Talks to Buy Adware Developer
Steve Lohr and Gary Rivlin write in The New York Times:
For the last two weeks, Microsoft has been in talks to buy a private Silicon Valley company, a move that underscores just how eager Microsoft is to catch up with Google, the search and advertising giant.
The company that Microsoft has pursued is controversial: Claria, an adware marketer formerly called Gator, and best known for its pop-up ads and software that tracks people visiting Web sites. The Gator adware has frequently been denounced by privacy advocates for its intrusiveness.
The offer price on the table as recently as yesterday was $500 million, according to people who have been briefed on the talks. But a person close to Microsoft said last night that the negotiations were on the verge of breaking off.
One person briefed on the deal said there was opposition within Microsoft to the acquisition.
The anti-deal group, the person said, fears the move could bring an outcry as critics portray Microsoft as a corporate Big Brother, trying to track every mouse click on the Web and profit from it.
Update: I sure am glad to see Ben Edelman active on his blog again--he was inactive there for a couple of weeks, but now with this whole Microsoft-Claria rumor, and the news from the past couple of days about WhenU.com and 1800Solutions, he has lept back into action!
He always has some provoking thoughts on all issues adware & spyware. Read why Ben thinks the whole Microsoft-Claria thing is a bad idea.