Oh, Valley gossip: VentureBeat speculates we might soon hear about some big company buying business social network LinkedIn. The evidence? A board meeting that "went way over the scheduled time," and sources who say "good news" is on the way. Even VentureBeat admits it's a stretch, but asserts that "something's up."
LinkedIn isn't commenting. VentureBeat later added a note suggesting that the "good news" might be additional funding, not an acquisition.
Along with Digg and Plaxo, LinkedIn is one of those social-media companies that people just like to talk about--particularly when it comes to buyers. All three companies are independent, potentially appealing to both technology and media companies, and are currently too small for IPOs but big and influential enough so that an acquisition would be a huge deal for the industry.
In Monday's VentureBeat report, the only clue we have toward a prospective buyer is that it probably isn't News Corp., which was reportedly interested until it opted for a major media acquisition, Newsday, instead. (VentureBeat explains, "Its stockholders would likely look down on yet another purchase.") LinkedIn co-founder and board chairman Reid Hoffman, meanwhile, has said that the company will likely pursue an IPO before 2010 unless the right "suitor" makes a deal he can't refuse.