Is Bebo on the Auction Block?

Techcrunch is spreading rumors and just as Alley Insider says, it’s always fun to play games. According to Erick Schonfeld, Bebo may be sold to Google for between $1 and $1.5 billion. If there was a social networking fund to invest in, shares of it would be up a ton over the past few years following the MySpace acquisition by News Corp. and Facebook’s $15 billion valuation.

If this is true, it appears that it has now become common knowledge that social networks are the future of media. Rupert Murdoch saw it coming years ago and now has the largest social network on the planet with over 107 million active global users. Erick Schonfeld points out that this would be great expansion for News Corp. into countries where they are currently weak. For Google consolidation of Orkut and Bebo would create the third largest social network following just behind Facebook who now has approximately 70 million active users.

For Google this appears to be a funny acquisition considering their recent statement about poor social networking performance being one of their primary causes for missing earnings. Then again, that’s a pretty good strategy to use right before you acquire a company in the space. At this point this is all speculation as Erick Pegged this at 50% odds meaning that this is a coin-flip. Do you choose heads or tails? Does a Google acquisition appear likely?

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