Google Passes on Digg

I was among the observers who couldn’t grasp why Google seemed intent on buying Digg, the social=networking news-aggregation site.

The view from this corner, as well as from others, was that Google could roll its own social-networking news-ranking algorithm for a lower price and with less baggage than would accompany an acquisition of Digg.

Apparently, though, Google remained primed and ready for a $200-million buyout of Digg right up until later-stage due diligence last week. Putative insiders, who claim to be familiar with the thinking of the parties involved, suggest that Google walked away for one of two reasons.

According to the first scenario, technical issues undermined the deal. An alternate interpretation intimated that Google aborted the deal for “personality” reasons, eventually concluding that the Digg team wasn’t culturally suited for corporate life at Google.

The second scenario seems likelier, if only because show-stopping technical issues probably would have been identified well before the 11th hour of due diligence. One would hope, anyway.

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