Speculation grows about a possible $1.1 billion Yahoo! takeover of Foursquare

Andrew Sadauskas /

Yahoo! is rumoured to be in talks to acquire local search and check-in app service Foursquare, as part of an ongoing strategy by chief Marissa Mayer to reposition the web pioneer as a cloud-based apps and services business.

TechCrunch reports it has heard from numerous sources a “deal is done” with a price tag of around $US900 million ($A1.1 billion).

But the report has been disputed by Re/Code, which claims “multiple people familiar with the companies” say Yahoo! is not in talks with Foursquare. The site’s cofounder, Kara Swisher, is described by Mayer biographer Nicholas Carlson as being one of the most authoritative reporters on Yahoo!

Following the Re/Code report, TechCrunch speculated that “either this is elaborate, bicoastal speculation, or it is happening with only a select circle privy to what is going on”, although both Yahoo! and Foursquare declined to comment.

Rumours of a deal come after Starboard Value sent a letter to Mayer urging the company to cut costs and explore a merger with Aol in September last year.

Meanwhile in May of last year, Foursquare introduced a new app called Swarm while focusing its main app on local search as part of its attempt to reinvent itself after hitting a growth plateau over the past couple of years.

Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.