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5/24/2007
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Google Reportedly Ready To Buy FeedBurner

The deal could potentially further inflate the Internet advertising company bubble.

Google is reportedly in the process of acquiring FeedBurner, a provider of RSS advertising and publishing services, sources close to the deal reported Wednesday.

The price is around $100 million, according to tech industry gossip site Valleywag, a relatively minor deal compared to Google's $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick.

Michael Arrington's blog TechCrunch, which focuses on Web 2.0 products and companies, reportedly broke the story, thanks to one of its former editors in the United Kingdom.

Neither Google nor FeedBurner replied to requests for comment.

If the transaction goes forward, the deal will further inflate the Internet advertising company bubble. Other recent online advertising acquisitions of note include WPP's purchase of 24/7 Real Media for $649 million, Yahoo's $680 million purchase of Right Media, and Microsoft's $6 billion purchase of aQuantive.

FeedBurner has seen considerable growth (204%) in its U.S. traffic between April 2006 and April 2007, according to Internet metrics company Hitwise. And Google Reader, which handles RSS feeds, has also been growing: Its traffic is up 290% over the past four months.

LeeAnn Prescott, research director at Hitwise, sees the rumored acquisition as a logical step for Google.

"It makes sense that Google would want to expand its advertising reach into feeds, with so many blogs already running AdSense," she said in a blog post. "In addition, the fast-growing Google Reader is currently not displaying ads, and Google must have an interest in monetizing it."

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