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Facebook profits fall; buys AOL patents from Microsoft for $550m

Karl Flinders

Social networking giant Facebook reported a fall in profits for the first three months of this year, as its anticipated stock market entry gets nearer.

The company  reported revenues of just over $1bn in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $731m in the same period in 2011, but less than the previous three months when sales were worth over $1.1bn.

Profits were down in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago, at $205m compared to $233m.

According to reports, the fall in profits is the result of heavy spending related to preparations for the company's IPO as well as seasonal advertising factors.

Facebook also announced it buying a number of AOL patents from Microsoft. It is paying Microsoft $550m for some of the patents the Windows developer bought from AOL earlier this month. Microsoft acquired most of AOL's patents in a deal worth $1.06bn that covers more than 800 technological innovations. Facebook is now buying 650 of those patents, and obtaining licensing rights to the others.

Major software firms such as Facebook and Google are increasingly buying up arsenals of patents to protect themselves from legal claims from rivals.  


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