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Facebook Takes $2B Leap Into Virtual Reality


Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter suggested in a research note that Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) Google (GOOG - Get Report), Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) or Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) could just have easily purchased Oculus.

"As for the price tag, as with WhatsApp, there is no near-term financial model that will drive the $2 billion valuation," Schachter wrote. "The price was $2 billion because that is how much Oculus VR needed to sell, and it was likely some number above what other entities were willing to pay."

Facebook's track record with photo-sharing site Instagram, which the company acquired for $1 billion in 2012, gives the company some credibility with bold, top-dollar acquisitions.

"Instagram has been a successful acquisition in our in our view, given rapid user growth, high mobile engagement and strong monetization potential," Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge wrote in a report.

Must Read: Facebook's 'Fear of Missing Out' M&A Strategy

Instagram has grown its customer base from 22 million users at the time of the acquisition to 200 million, Blackledge observed. It could be the second-largest social network by the end of the year.

While Oculus isn't ready to ship a consumer version of its headsets, Zuckerberg told investors that the product is nearly ready.

"I mean, the quality of their product, even their development kit...they probably could ship it as a consumer thing if they wanted because it's so high quality," he said.

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