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On May 16th, 2013, the tech news site AllThingsD reported that Yahoo! may be seeking to acquire Tumblr for as high as $1 billion, citing multiple anonymous sources that are close to the situation. Later that same day, the rumor was picked up by AdWeek, Forbes and The Atlantic. By early afternoon on May 19th, AllThingsD, The Wall Street Journal and many other tech-related news blogs reported that the boards of both companies had approved the deal for $1.1 billion in cash, followed by their official announcement via Tumblr on May 20th.
Most news reports and blog commentaries interpreted Yahoo’s latest acquisition as a strategic maneuver to expand its appeal to younger and hip demographics while dispelling its corporate image as the web giant of the dot-com era. Meanwhile, the news of the deal almost immediately spawned negative reactions and grievances from users on Tumblr, where many were quick to express their disappointment at what they perceived as an unlikely pairing and a “sell-out” deal for the microblogging service.
On May 19th, BuzzFeed compiled the highlights of Tumblr users’ reactions in an article titled “No One’s Happy That Yahoo is Going to Buy Tumblr.”
As early as on May 17th, an anonymous user created an iPetition page titled “Stop Yahoo! from buying Tumblr,” urging its readers to sign the petition and stand against Yahoo’s acquisition of the microblogging service. In the following 72 hours, the petition accumulated more than 168,000 signatures, though it remains unexplained as to how or whether petitioning will have any impact on the deal.
Fake Company Accounts
New York Times – Tumblr Founder Says Site Will Stay an ‘Independent’ Effort