Last week's TechCrunch article about Microsoft and Google in a bidding war for Digg is the stuff that soap operas are made of. Or tabloids. But Kara Swisher at Boomtown has the real scoop, albeit a less sexy one.
It seems that Digg's canoodling with bankers Allen & Co. is more along the lines of delegating the task of handling incoming interest rather than putting a "For Sale" sign up at its San Francisco offices.
And if an offer does come in from Microsoft or Google, don't expect to see the purported $200 million. Swisher says that a $60 to 80 million price tag is a more realistic offer, according to the acquiring types she spoke to.
Even Digg CEO Jay Alderson broke Digg's "we don't comment about things like this" policy and blogged that the rumors were out of control, denying the very existence of a Microsoft/Google bidding war. But TechCrunch stands by its original sources.
And why shouldn't they? As Kevin Heisler opined last week, a Digg acquisition would make strategic sense for Google. And with or without the Yahoo deal, Microsoft has last year's ad deal with the social search engine as an incentive to raise their auction paddle in the air.
In the meantime, like a policeman trying to keep traffic moving around a fatal accident, everyone but TechCrunch seems to be saying, "There's nothing to see here. Keep moving along."