Alternate Reality

Google in Talks to Acquire eSarcasm

Google is in late-stage negotiations to acquire eSarcasm, sources suggest. A new company called “gSarcasm” could emerge.

By (@tynanwrites)

August 2, 2009

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

Google BabeAs first reported by TechCrunch, the search giant is reportedly in late-stage negotiations to acquire tech humor startup eSarcasm for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock.

People close to the negotiations confirmed that eSarcasm principals JR Raphael and Dan Tynan dined with top executives in Google’s Mergers & Acquisitions department late last week.

Normally reliable sources sitting at an adjacent table in the Google Gafeteria clearly overheard Tynan say, “Are you going to eat that?” — a signal in Silicon Valley circles that the deal was all but done.

Sources say a combined entity – renamed gSarcasm — could enhance Google’s reach by allowing irony-hungry users to apply the site’s patented snark filters to Google News stories.

eSarcasm reportedly turned down a sizable acquisition offer from Digg last month. At the time, co-founder Raphael was quoted as saying, “I’d rather eat my own offal than do business with those pansy-ass dick lickers,” though he has since backed away from that statement.

“We love Digg,” he now says. “I meant no disrespect. I was drinking… and off my medications. It’s been a difficult time for me, what with my gender reassignment surgery coming up.”

UPDATE: In an eSarcasm corporate blog entry titled “Sometimes when we touch…,” Tynan denied rumors of a Google acquisition, saying the two companies were merely good friends, despite what happened between them that weekend last spring in Boca Raton. He wrote:

We’ve got big plans for eSarcasm, and no intention of selling to anyone at any price at this time. We plan to do for digital sarcasm what Google Image Search has done for porn — make it freely available to minors and others whose morals are easily warped.

Sources in the VC community estimate the wildly successful startup could fetch a price in the high four figures, though they admitted they’ve always had problems with decimal points.

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