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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Stack Overflow, a popular Q&A service for programmers, has been acquired by European investment firm Prosus, co-founder Joel Spolsky announced Wednesday, for a price tag of $1.8 billion, per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Stack Overflow's success at enabling expert developers to share tips and shards of working code became the foundation for many novices' knowledge and built a community that helped more advanced practitioners solve tough problems.

What they're saying: "Stack Overflow will continue to operate independently, with the exact same team in place that has been operating it, according to the exact same plan and the exact same business practices. Don’t expect to see major changes or awkward 'synergies'," Spolsky wrote.

Of note: $1.8 billion is a lot of money, but Stack Exchange could likely have taken in even more by going public at different moments in its life. That would have opened it to market-driven demands.

  • Stack Overflow is mostly free and ad-supported, with a for-pay product serving teams.
  • Co-founders Spolsky and Jeff Atwood had launched an effort called Stack Exchange to expand the Stack Overflow model to other topics, but it never achieved the same popularity as the original programmers' forum.

Our thought bubble: At the service's founding in 2008, building a programmers' community that made it easier to share knowledge made great sense. Maintaining such a service in 2021 means dealing with a broader host of content moderation issues.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify the description of Stack Overflow's for-pay product.

Go deeper

Heat dome sends temperatures soaring from Oregon to Louisiana

Forecast maximum temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (WeatherBell)

The Pacific Northwest is once again in the midst of a heat wave after already seeing its worst such event on record this summer. Temperatures are soaring into the low 100s in some areas, while dangerous heat is also affecting the South Central states and Gulf Coast.

Why it matters: The occurrence of yet another heat wave during a drought in the West is ratcheting up wildfire risks. The heat itself is a major public health risk, since extreme heat is typically the biggest annual weather-related cause of mortality in the U.S.

Biden calls on Congress to extend eviction moratorium as deadline looms

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden called on Congress on Thursday to extend the CDC's national eviction moratorium due to the threat of the Delta variant, after the Supreme Court ruled that the administration couldn't extend it past July 31 without specific legislation.

Why it matters: Millions of tenants across the country face the threat of eviction in the coming days. The moratorium was first implemented in September 2020 and extended several times to prevent a wave of evictions caused by pandemic-related economic decline.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The mental health deal boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.

By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.