|Re: The coolest thing about the MS sale of AOL's Netscape patents to fb, is that they are now in the loving arms of their original owner... Marc Andreesen |
Some perspective for those with short memories:
Facebook Reunites Netscape and Marc Andreessen
By David Benoit
Wall Street Journal
April 23, 2012, 6:20 PM
Netscape, long ago lost in AOL’s sea, is back in familiar territory.
The defunct web-browsing pioneer’s patents are among those purchased today by Facebook, after they spent a two week pit-stop at Netscape nemesis Microsoft.
That Microsoft bought the shell of Netscape when it purchased 800 patents from AOL was weird enough. Netscape was the biggest fly in Microsoft’s eye during its anti-trust battles.
But now that Facebook has bought the patents, they are back near the safe hands of Marc Andreessen’s, the co-founder of Netscape.
Andreessen made his fortune on Netscape and is now a dean among the young pups of the Tech 2.0 rise, most notably Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The venture capitalist has been on Facebook’s board since 2008 and his fund, Andreessen Horowitz, is in for a windfall from the upcoming Facebook IPO.
AOL scooped up Netscape in 1998 for about $4 billion. In an odd parallel to Facebook’s deal today, in 1998 it was AOL who looked to be the future and was scooping up the remains of a fallen pioneer. (WSJ referred to AOL as the “ Ascendant AOL” at the time.)
Netscape — or at least its remnants — isn’t the only company with an Andreessen connection to come under Facebook’s control recently.
Andreessen will be getting additional shares of Facebook as part of the company’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram, which Andreessen Horowitz had invested in. Andreessen already owned some 6.6 million class B shares of Facebook and a footnote in Facebook’s filing today mentions that doesn’t include his portion of Instagram’s 23 million Facebook shares.