UPDATED: Google in talks to purchase Twitter

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twitter-money.jpgGoogle is in talks to acquire Twitter according to sources in a Tech Crunch article this morning. Negotiations have been believed to be at both late and early stages, so we can probably take from that that the stages are in fact somewhere towards the middle.

Google’s valuation of the microblogging platform is thought to be well in excess of the $250 million that Facebook offered a few month’s back. The important difference to this deal is in the payment plan.

Zuckerburg Inc. was looking to use overpriced Facebook stock for the majority of the bargain whereas Google is ready to pay in both cold, hard cash and more stable, publicly-valued shares.

The big questions surrounding the deal are about what Google plans on doing with Twitter and what founders of the service Evan Williams and Biz Stone want out of it too. Twitter represents a real-time search of news and events happening now whereas Google results give weight to pages according to when they were indexed and how many people link to them. If Google does go through with the deal, they would effectively own search but whether they would improve Twitter or leave it to rot is another matter.

For a bigger discussion of the ins and outs of this one, download the Tech Digest podcast.

UPDATE: Boomtown say it ain’t so. They’ve had a word with spokespeople at Twitter who said that the talks with Google were all about the advertising that we’ve already seen and not to do with a buy out. They said:

“There was a discussion with [Google executive Marissa Mayer’s] group about real-time search and about product stuff. It was a couple weeks ago. It was very preliminary…and that was that.”

And as far as talks go: “Seriously, no negotiations, no deal, nada.”

So, that seems like that. For now, at least.

(via Tech Crunch)

Daniel Sung