In an interview with CNBC, Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft offered $24 billion to buy Facebook when the company was ‘itsy-bitsy’, an offer which was declined by Mark Zuckerberg, Business Insider reports.
Oh I think $24 billion when the company was itsy-bitsy and he said no. And I respect that.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer left the company in 2014, and is now an investor in Twitter. In 2007, under Ballmer’s reigns, Microsoft paid $240 million for a small 1.6 percent stake in three-and-a-half years old Facebook at a $15 billion valuation.
According to David Kirkpatrick's 2010 book ‘The Facebook Effect’, after that acquisition, Microsoft had the option, every six months, to buy another 5 percent of Facebook. A complete takeover of the company would have taken 5 to 7 years.
Interestingly, after that $15 billion valuation in 2007, Facebook's growth exploded and the company now holds a market cap of $374 billion with Mark Zuckerberg's individual net worth over $50 billion.