Breaking news: AOL Buys BEBO for $850 million

Bebo, the social media network founded in January 2005, similar to Facebook, Myspace or Yahoo!360 is going to be acquired by AOL in a $850 million deal that involves cash. The site is pretty big and highly appeals to those living in the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Ireland.
The whole Bebo network has approximately 80 million users and is being managed by some 100 employees operating in offices in the UK, San Francisco and Austin, Texas.

“œWhat drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization opportunities that leverage Platform-A across our combined global audience. This positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers.“ said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO of AOL.

A few weeks ago everyone speculated on AOL partnering with Yahoo, so I guess heading to Bebo, they’re probably not interested. Still, I don’t think negotiations are closed if we count Yahoo’s interest for social media networks and Microsoft’s interest for Yahoo.
I’m really interested to see how’s Google going to move on the chess board, because things are starting to complicate day after day. What do you guys think?
(photo by Matt McAlister)