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MicrosoftGoogleFacebook Pile-up

The excellent and exhaustive piece in the Wall Street Journal spends a lotta time focusing on the travails of Microsoft?? media and advertising operations. Should this, by chance, point you towards the conclusion that Microsoft will win this bidding war ?? well, stop your extrapolatin?right there. Because in December of 2005 execs at Microsoft were dead convinced that they would be the ones to win a 5% stake in AOL.

But they didn’t get it. Google did.

Meanwhile, my colleagues at BusinessWeek last night put Facebook’s theoretical $10 billion valuation in some perspective. But to further illustrate this, in media terms $10 billion dollars is:

Twice what Rupert Murdoch paid for Dow Jones.

Almost four times the New York Times Co.’s market cap.

Almost twice what Microsoft paid for aQuantive

Twice the market cap of ad giant Interpublic and over 35% greater than the market cap of ad giant Publicis.

Significantly larger than the market cap of Barry Diller’s IAC.

Almost four times the market cap of Meredith Corp.

Amost twice as big as Scripps’ market cap.

Parenthetically: What does a 5% stake in anything really get you?

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