Facebook (FB) is acquiring Titan Aerospace, a drone maker, for $60 million, according to a report by TechCrunch. Facebook is interested in building and using high-flying drones to provide Internet access across the globe, beginning with Africa.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook would begin by building 11,000 solar-powered atmospheric satellite drones that can remain in the air for five years without needing to land or refuel. The drones would provide 3G Internet access and remain above FAA regulated airspace as to avoid legal issues.
“It’s let’s bring Africa online without any of the infrastructure that we’ve needed since time immemorial,” says The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget.
“Facebook from the beginning has had a real mission that goes beyond financials,” continues Blodget. “These companies are so fantastically profitable, they’re in a position where they really don’t know what to do with the money."
After the acquisition Facebook will reportedly hand over all of Titan Aerospace’s production to the Internet.org initiative, of which Facebook is a primary backer.
This acquisition would follow a recent $19 billon buyout of WhatsApp, which also aims to make Internet connection and communication more accessible around the globe.
The Daily Ticker reached out to both Titan Aerospace and Facebook for comment. Titan Aerospace says it has no knowledge of the deal and Facebook has said it don’t comment “on rumors and speculation.”
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