The Hindustan Times reports today that Google and Yahoo are looking to snap up Rediff.com, India’s third-largest web portal providing news, information, communication, entertainment and shopping services. The potential deal is being valued at close to $1 billion.
At this point, it’s nothing more than an unsubstantiated rumor, with Hindustan Times relying on “investment banking sources,” and Ajit Balakrishnan, Rediff.com’s founder and CEO, came out with a statement saying that the news as “completely untrue,” according to AlooTechie. Speculation of a takeover has been in the works, however, with investment journal Barrons having suggested the same thing earlier this month. Rediff’s stock on NASDAQ also saw a sharp increase last week after launching a website allowing consumers to upload user-generated content for free.
India’s growing global and economic value has everyone trying to gain a foothold there, and acquiring Rediff.com would be a significant move to further penetrate the Indian search market. Other possible players looking into the Rediff deal are rumored to be AOL and MSN, but Mashable thinks that “with a reach in nearly every form of Internet-based communication and entertainment as well as consumer commerce services, Yahoo seems to be the company that would have the most direct interest, though Google’s plans to dominate in as many areas as possible would also hint at its interest in taking over Rediff.”