Digg: Takeover rumours refuse to die

As I think many people probably expected, the Digg takeover rumours have turned out to be totally untrue — or have they? According to Jay Adelson at least, they are completely false. The Digg co-founder says the company is “focused on improving Digg and rolling out great features,” which is pretty much the same thing he said when he was asked the question during Digg’s recent “town hall” Q & A session. But Mike Arrington isn’t backing down — he says his source on the story is very good and he sticks by his report that Digg is talking to either Google or Microsoft or both.

Could Jay be telling the truth and yet still working on a sale of Digg? Sure he could. As Peter Kafka notes at Silicon Alley Insider, the Digg denial didn’t say that the company wasn’t for sale, and it didn’t deny that Google and/or Microsoft were talking to the company — it just said that reports of a bidding war between the two were false. Companies do this all the time: deny that anything is happening, in as vague a way as possible, right up until the thing actually happens. Steve Jobs is a master of this. Remember “People will never watch video on a handheld device?”

So at least for now, the Digg takeover rumours are just as alive as they were before, despite Jay’s denial. Would Google or Microsoft make a better buyer? I’m not sure. It would be interesting to see what Google would do with it — would they integrate it somehow with Google Reader maybe? — but to me that seems like a stretch. I think Microsoft needs the help more when it comes to getting social networks and recommendation engines and so on. And maybe Kevin will one day actually be worth the $60-million that BusinessWeek said he was worth way back when.

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