Wed, May 04, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Twitter seeks to purchase TweetDeck

Reuters, SAN FRANCISCO

Twitter has made an offer to acquire TweetDeck, a popular third-party software application for using Internet social networking services, for up to US$50 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The cash and stock deal could close in less than 10 days, the source said, and would represent one of five-year-old Twitter’s largest acquisitions to date.

The deal would give Twitter an application that has won praise among sophisticated users for its slick interface and enhanced capabilities, while closing out a potential threat to Twitter’s rapidly growing service.

TweetDeck had been in acquisition discussions with UberMedia, a Pasadena Web company founded by entrepreneur Bill Gross, in a deal that was valued at less than what Twitter offered. UberMedia has been amassing a collection of Twitter applications, which some commentators have speculated could ultimately be used to create a rival social network to Twitter.

The exclusivity terms of UberMedia’s offer for TweetDeck expired in the middle of last month, allowing TweetDeck to respond to the Twitter offer, according to the source.

A Twitter spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors. TweetDeck and UberMedia did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Twitter’s offer for TweetDeck is between US$40 million and US$50 million, according to the source, depending on how Twitter’s shares are valued.

In December, Twitter was valued at US$3.7 billion in a US$200 million funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Subsequent auctions of Twitter shares on the secondary markets have suggested investors were valuing the shares at more than US$7 billion.

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