When AOL acquired Bebo last week for a reported $850 million (£425 million), most believed the company was happy to have the popular social network on its side. But according to reports on Thursday, that may not have been true.

According to numerous sources, a cadre of AOL executives were unhappy with the Bebo acquisition and those people believed that the social network will never produce the kind of return some expected from it. So heated were the debates between the factions that known detractors - execs at Advertising.com and Userplane - were not even consulted before the acquisition was finalised.


The COO can be secretive

"Our sources believe that Ron Grant, chief operating officer of AOL, at least, was aware that several senior AOL managers were against the deal," Silicon Alley Insider explained, "and that, as the deal progressed, these managers were intentionally kept out of the Bebo loop."

AOL declined to comment on the report, but journalists have speculated that the online firm may have acquired Bebo to become a more appealing target for acquisition itself and may not even care that the social network could turn out to be a bust. Regardless, AOL is stuck with the company now and Bebo's owners are laughing all the way to the bank.