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Apple in talks to buy Twitter for $700m

Apple is set to offer $700 million to buy microblogging phenomenon Twitter in a deal to be announced in June, according to industry insider reports.

Digital media blogs, TechCrunch and Valleywag, both claim to have access to an inside source at Apple who believes the deal is already at the late stages of negotiation, with the hope of completion by June 8. This is so Apple could announce the acquisition of Twitter at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose.

Apple’s $700m offer is meant to be a full cash bid – a marked contrast to Facebook’s $500m offer for Twitter last November, which was a cash and stock hybrid offer. The deal failed to go through partially because Twitter’s investors could not agree on whether Facebook’s stock was worth as much as the social networking company claimed it was. When Twitter turned down the Facebook deal, co-founder Biz Stone said the company wanted to remain independent to expand on “its messaging service and there would be no disagreement about the value of its stock”.

Both Google and Microsoft have also been linked to possibly buying Twitter. Google was reputedly at late stage talks just over a month ago offering a mixture of cash and stock for the company. The bid was predicted to be higher than Facebook’s bid, however was rebuffed by Twitter chief executive, Evan Williams.

Apple is thought to be interested in purchasing Twitter because of the tie-ups with the iPhone. The numerous iPhone applications, like Tweetie, that people use to post Twitter updates are big sellers for Apple. Industry pundits also agree it will be more of a statement purchase, than massive money spinner, as Twitter has yet to turn a profit.

Apple recently posted a complimentary business profile of Twitter entitled: “Twitter. Triumph of humanity”.

Both Twitter and Apple were unavailable for comment.

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