Twitter flooded with offers as Google speculation eases

LONDON - Twitter has been inundated by approaches from other interested companies following a report last week that it was in late-stage acquisition talks with Google, a deal which now appears some way off.

Technology blog TechCrunch sparked a frenzy of speculation with its claim that Google was in advanced talks with Twitter about acquiring the micro blogging service.

However, an update from TechCrunch, indicating that the two sides are far apart on Twitter's valuation, paints a less certain picture than its initial report.

It puts Google's own valuation of Twitter at "a token premium" above $250m, the valuation achieved by Twitter's last round of financing in February.

But it claims Twitter chief executive Evan Williams would not sell even for $1bn.

TechCrunch's claim that the two companies were in late-stage talks was questioned by influential blog All Things Digital, citing its own sources.

All Things Digital yesterday claimed that Twitter is not ready to sell and Williams especially is not interested as yet.

It cited sources close to the company as saying that after the TechCrunch report Twitter executives "were pinged relentlessly by a plethora of big companies, all wanting to make sure Twitter called them, in the event the company was up for grabs".

Both blogs say the two sides are talking about a deal giving Google access to a real-time feed from Twitter's search facility.

Twitter attempted to dampen the speculation over acquisition talks on Friday with co-founder and chief creative officer Biz Stone posting the following:

"My inbox is flooded this morning with requests for a response to the latest internet speculation about where Twitter is headed. It should come as no surprise that Twitter engages in discussions with other companies regularly and on a variety of subjects.

"Our goal is to build a profitable, independent company and we're just getting started. We've got just over 30 employees now and we're working out of a loft in San Francisco's SoMA neighborhood. By the way, we're hiring talented people if you want to join us."