Will This Be Facebook’s Next Big Purchase?

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) may be breaking into the browser game, according to a Pocket-lint report.

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The social networking juggernaut is reportedly looking to buy Opera Software, the creator of the two-year old Opera browser. Adding a browser to its arsenal would allow Facebook users to interact with social media via built-in plug-ins and menu bar features.

Entry into the browser space would pit Facebook against the likes of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Mozilla, Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ:MSFT), and even Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), all of which operate their own browsers: Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and the new Axis, respectively.

The move would probably not have much impact on Google Chrome’s short-term growth, but would definitely increase the competition between Facebook and Google, especially in the mobile space. Purchasing Opera would provide Facebook with a strong browser without the hassle of building one from scratch. With Facebook’s recent $16 billion initial public offering, the company has plenty of cash to spare.

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