Speculation swirls about Yahoo eyeing Foursquare

Business Insider cites sources close to Foursquare's bankers

A report that Yahoo is sniffing around at hyperlocal social networking company Foursquare has Web watchers buzzing this week.

Business Insider reported Tuesday that Yahoo is considering buying Foursquare for around US$100 million. Business Insider cites sources close to Foursquare's bankers (the company has been doing the venture capital firm rounds of late).

Some suspect the news leak is an attempt to drive venture capital firms interested in investing in Foursquare to up their offers.

Foursquare has generated a Twitter-ish buzz of late as users of its location-based service vie for badges and mayorships by checking in on the site from places they visit. It has also been the subject of some unflattering attention, such as through the Web site PleaseRobMe, which highlights the amount of personal data some mobile users are willing to part with – even if it basically involves telling the world when they are and aren't at home.

CEO Dennis Crowley sold an earlier location-oriented startup called Dodgeball to Google, which has made more than 50 buyouts of all sorts.

A Foursquare acquisition by Yahoo could provide the company with a much needed boost. Yahoo recently slipped to #3 on the U.S. Web site popularity rankings behind Google and Facebook.

Of course Yahoo itself was the subject of a possible buyout by Microsoft in recent years, and the two companies did eventually strike a deal last year giving Microsoft control over Yahoo's search engine.

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