A Billion for Bebo? Bubble, Bubble, Double Trouble

Rob Hof

Mike Arrington at TechCrunch says the social-networking service Bebo has turned down a $550 million buyout offer--not far off from what News Corp. paid for MySpace. Bebo's asking price: north of $1 billion. That's on top of Facebook apparently turning down an offer of $750 million not long ago. Another story says the supposed suitor, British Telecom, denies the rumored offer. "Someone’s not telling the truth here, which is always a whole new story," Arrington notes in comments on his post.

Still, I share the worries of other commenters that this is getting out of hand. Maybe a couple of social-networking sites can build services for the long haul. But with time such a precious commodity--and one that only gets tighter as these folks in high school and college move into jobs and families--I wonder how many of these can survive. And the influence of so much money--vaporous as it may turn out to be--is never good on young companies. When are we going to learn that for good?

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.