Arab and Iranian media are reporting a rumor – now officially rendered false – that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has offered $150 billion to buy out Facebook in order to thwart a planned Day of Rage protest. Such protests generally use the social media network to encourage participation.
Mainstream media in Egypt, as well as Iran’s PRESS TV, are behind the claim, which they have reported as being true. A Day of rage is scheduled in the Saudi kingdom March 11. The source of the report was a spoof on an English-language website.
Facebook is estimated to be valued at approximately $50 billion, but the report claims that King Abdullah has offered Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, a Jew, nearly three times that amount.
The report, reposted on dozens of blogs and websites, states that the king “is very upset with Mark Zuckerberg for allowing the revolt to get out of control” and that “in a personal meeting…in January, Zuckerberg had promised that he would not allow any revolt pages to be formed on Facebook even while he allowed Egypt and Libya revolt pages to be formed.”
Facebook has been credited – and blamed – for helping the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions succeed.
Press TV also reported that King Abdullah’s advisers told him that Facebook is worth only $1 billion, but that “that king threw the report into the dustbin and fired his advisors and decided to hand over the investment banking mandate to Goldman Sachs who put the value at $150 billion.”
The same report claims that Zuckerberg was planning to hold out for $500 billion.