Disney Plans to Make a Bid to Buy Twitter, Alongside Other Rumored Bidders like Google
Wait, is Twitter for sale? The social media mainstay has struggled with user retention and user growth in the past year, but they’re not officially up for auction… however, some companies have expressed interest in buying the platform.
Anonymous sources told Newsweek late last week that Twitter has initiated conversations with companies that want to buy it, but that’s as far as the confirmation has gone on Twitter’s end. Meanwhile, the press has reported the various high bidders that have made offers to buy Twitter, as well as the companies that are rumored to make offers.
Forbes reported today that Alphabet and Salesforce are two prospective buyers of Twitter, which Forbes estimates to have a worth of $15.7 billion. Ever since whispers began last week about a potential acquisition and bidding war, Twitter’s stock prices have jumped, having increased 20% last Friday. Even if all these sales rumors don’t go anywhere, it’s still good for Twitter HQ–and they could really use the boost, especially lately.
There are a couple more recognizable companies who have potentially been vying to acquire Twitter as well. Many press outlets have floated Google’s name around as one potential buyer; they certainly have the cash on hand for the acquisition, but there’s been no confirmation that Google’s interested, beyond speculation.
Given Google’s failed foray into social media with the less-than-popular Google Plus platform, they may not be interested in purchasing a brand new platform at this time. It’s been ten years since Google purchased YouTube, which was a successful choice on their end; this week, Google has been merging the Google Hangouts functionality into the larger YouTube Live platform. Clearly, the YouTube/Google partnership has done well for the companies’ higher-ups (maybe not for content creators, but that’s a different story). Google has a lot of plates spinning at all times, so they may not want to deal with Twitter’s unique problems. On the other hand, they could use a social network in their pocket, since G+ has clearly stalled out.
Here’s another new buyer that isn’t just a rumor, but an actual prospect: Disney! According to Bloomberg, Walt Disney Co. has enlisted a financial adviser to help them put together a bid to acquire the social media company, and they’ll be looking to compete with Salesforce’s bid for the network. Salesforce is also partnering with Bank of America for their bid, so they’ll have a lot of money and resources to throw around. Bloomberg points out in their own analysis that acquiring Twitter could be a good move for Disney, given that the company needs to move away from “old media” methods of distribution like TV networks, and instead focus on other ways to keep Disney in the public eye.
As for whether any of these buyers would end up making Twitter a more pleasant place to be from a user standpoint, that remains to be seen. It’s also not yet clear whether Twitter will end up getting sold at all; they might turn down all of these offers, and instead use all these offers as a way to bolster their own popularity again. Still, if an acquisition happens, it could end up changing the network for the better. (I admit, it’s hard to see how things could get worse, but, famous last words, right?)
(via Variety, image via Norebbo Stock Illustration & Design)
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