Is Facebook looking to buy Opera to make its own web browser?

Fresh from floating itself on the NASDAQ at a valuation of $104 billion, only to see share prices plummet by almost 20% in a week, and a $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the rumour mill has sparked up again, this time suggesting that Facebook is set to acquire Norwegian firm Opera Software. Pocket-lint’s sources claim that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is looking to create its own web browser, possibly one compatible with the oft-rumoured Facebook phone, and that it is looking towards Opera to achieve this goal. The Next Web also cited a different source close to the browser maker, stating that the company was not only in talks regarding a potential acquisition with multiple suitors, but a hiring freeze has been introduced – a sign that big things may be coming. A Facebook browser could look very similar to RockMelt, a browser with Facebook integration and built from Google’s Chromium engine, but partnering with or acquiring a company like Opera would give Facebook independence from third-parties such as Google, thus ensuring total control over the browser, while also the potential to tap in to Opera’s 270 million monthly users. All of this speculation certainly seems plausible, and with Facebook’s tendency to roll out new features perpetually, it might not be long until we find out the truth.

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