A source for Pocket-Lint claims that Facebook is looking to purchase Opera for a branded web browser. There is still question about whether Opera wants to sell or whether Facebook is able to muscle market share away from Google, Firefox, and Microsoft.
I, personally, find this rumor quite difficult to believe.
I could see Facebook being able to push a web browser — they have the money and the user-base — and I could see the deal but not expect it. Facebook would need to push for a web browser and Opera would need to sell.
That said, with what goes on Facebook — all we would need is Tide ads.
The main reason why this news sounds fictitious is because it occurred so close to the IPO. Going public would not contribute to the ability or desire for Facebook to acquire Opera. If it would not contribute to the acquisition then it is easy to assume it contributed to the rumor…
It is also unclear whether the source suggests that Facebook would like to purchase Opera and/or whether Opera would like to be purchased by Facebook.
I could see Facebook desiring to own a browser but this whole rumor does not smell right. Facebook is still quite good friends with Microsoft and I would expect that getting further involved in the Internet Explorer market share would be more desirable for the time being.