Social news site Digg.com, a perpetual target of acquisition rumors, is in "final negotiations" to sell itself to Google for $200 million, according to a TechCrunch report Tuesday that cited multiple sources. The two companies have been in talks to bring Digg into the Google News group, but it could be a few weeks before the deal closes, if it closes, according to the report. Representatives for Google and Digg did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Usually a "no comment" or the like is the corresponding response to questions about rumored acquisition negotiations, but that was not the case in March--when the Digg takeover rumor mill was in full swing.
Rumors that the social news site might be purchased by Google, Microsoft, or two major media companies had whipped a sizable number of Digg users into a panic. Digg CEO Jay Adelson, perhaps in an effort to assuage those fears of having a corporate owner, posted a blog that seemed to go a little above and beyond the call in denying the rumors.
"Normally our policy is to not comment about things like this," Adelson wrote, "but this morning's rumors about a bidding war involving Google and Microsoft have created such a stir we feel compelled to tell you all directly that they are completely inaccurate."
He continued: "Sorry to burst any drama theories, but they aren't true. We remain focused on improving Digg and rolling out great features." So the silence this time around is a bit curious. Digg users, meanwhile, were more vocal with their opinions. In addition to how much compensation founder Kevin Rose and others in the Diggnation would receive was bandied about, some Digg users expressed relief that Google appears to be beating out Microsoft in this race.
"I would rather have Digg sold to Google than to Microsoft," wrote one user who goes by the name neil1492. "Although it's odd how Google is buying up almost everything on the Internet. What gives?" Meanwhile, the Regular Geek blog welcomed the prospect of a takeover, arguing that it would give Digg some of the Google cachet.