How Much Would Mozilla Fetch on the Market?

Last Updated Jan 9, 2008 2:09 AM EST

Mozilla in Spanish image by pandemia [cc, 2.0]Netscape and Internet Explorers will come and go, but Mozilla will stand forever -- or at least many would like to think so. But what if they went public? Would it "undermine" the entire mission of Mozilla? It seems the conspiracy theories about such a possibility have been bouncing around the Valley as of late. Still, despite Michael Blodget's $4 billion valuation of Mozilla, the top brass at the Mozilla Foundation continue to say there never was, nor never will be, plans to go public.

Blodget thinks it's a bluff though, and he uses online behemoths Facebook ($7.5 billion) and Google ($200 billion) as examples. He thinks an IPO is inevitable, partly because both Google and Facebook once seemed to shirk an IPO but eventually caved.

The real question, though, is why the Mozilla Foundation doesn't plan to go public. Despite Blodget's obvious belief that Mozilla will go public and that they're planning to, the Foundation is adamant that the popular rising browser is a public service and an open source project and it will remain so indefinitely. Says COO John Lilly, who told Ars Technica his response to Blodget's assertion: "Irrespective of financials, Blodget is wrong about the desire and intent of Mozilla to do any public offering of stock... The work we do in the Mozilla project is a public asset." Lilly even goes further, telling Ars that taking the IPO route would "fundamentally undermine what Mozilla is about."

Mozilla in Spanish CD image by pandemia [cc, 2.0]