Media News - Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Facebook Inc is paying USD 55m to USD 60m to buy Face.com, according to people familiar with the matter, acquiring the company that provides the facial-recognition technology used by the world's largest social network to help users identify and tag photos. The deal bolsters one of Facebook's most popular features - the sharing and handling of photos - but the use of the startup's technology has spurred concerns about user privacy. The No. 1 social network will pay cash and stock for Face.com, potentially paying as much as USD 60m, two sources with knowledge of the deal said. Media reports in past weeks have pegged the transaction at USD 80m to USD 100m. Neither Facebook nor Face.com disclosed terms of the deal, which is expected to close in coming weeks. Face.com, which has raised nearly USD 5m from investors including Russian Web search site Yandex, launched its first product in 2009. The company makes standalone applications that consumers can use to help them identify photos of themselves and of their friends on Facebook, as well as providing the technology that Facebook has integrated into its service. Facebook uses the technology to scan a user's newly uploaded photos, compares faces in the snapshots with previous pictures, then tries to match faces and suggest name tags. When a match is found, Facebook alerts the person uploading the photos and invites them to "tag," or identify, the person in the photo. (Reuters)
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