A Moment of Irony: Microsoft and Facebook Ads

June 30, 2020

I recall reading a story about Microsoft’s purchasing a chunk of Facebook. Recode wrote about the deal in “It’s Been 10 Years Since Microsoft Invested in Facebook. Now Facebook Is Worth Almost As Much as Microsoft.”

I thought about this investment when I read “Microsoft Has Been Pausing Spending on Facebook, Instagram.”

The way I understand this is that Microsoft owns some Facebook shares. Facebook holds meetings for those who own stock. The meetings permit submission of questions from shareholders.

Some questions:

  1. Has Microsoft asked questions about Facebook’s ad practices at these meetings?
  2. Has Microsoft contacted Facebook management about its ad-related concerns?
  3. Has Microsoft management determined that selling its Facebook shares is a good or bad idea?
  4. Is the “pausing” virtue signaling or something more significant?

Hopefully one of the “real” news outfits will provide some information to help me answer these questions. If I were not so disinterested in Facebook, I could have one of the DarkCyber team jump in. And what about Microsoft’s financial thinking? Did Enron executives actually think about “energy”?

I do like the idea of a company which owns part of another company not liking the company’s policies. The action? Pausing. Yeah, maybe just another word for virtue signaling?

Stephen E Arnold, June 30, 2020


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