Is Twitter headed for a takeover? The company has been dodging the big question for the past year, but that could all be about to change.
Twitter’s board of directors is reportedly set to meet this Thursday in San Francisco to discuss a number of hot topics, including the question on everyone’s lips: can Twitter continue to operate as a standalone company? A number of sources close to the company revealed the news to Recode, which claims Twitter’s future is riding on the meeting.
The report comes in the wake of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’ recent interview regarding the platform’s independence. Williams, who is the firm’s largest shareholder, sent the company’s stock price up by claiming that it must consider all its options when it comes to a merger or acquisition. He also emphasized his confidence in current CEO Jack Dorsey, who he evidently believes is the right man for the job.
Industry analysts, on the other hand, aren’t quite so sure. Stagnant user numbers, and a notorious abuse problem, have led some to proclaim a takeover is all but guaranteed and could take place as soon as next year. That wouldn’t be completely out of place in the current tech landscape where a number of major acquisitions have taken place in regards to web companies.
In June, Microsoft nabbed the career-oriented social network LinkedIn for a whopping $26 billion. Then, in July, ailing web giant Yahoo, which also owns a social platform in the form of its blogging service Tumblr, was snapped up by Verizon for $4.8 billion.
The high-profile list of companies and individuals that have been linked to a Twitter acquisition reads like a who’s who of the tech world. Rumored buyers have included Google, Apple, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and current Twitter shareholder (and former Microsoft CEO) Steve Ballmer.
Also up for debate is Twitter’s asking price, which could reportedly be up to $18 billion — not exactly a steal for a platform that has shown little signs of growth during its previous two quarters. That price would also grant the buyer ownership of Twitter’s additional products, including video platforms Periscope, and Vine.
Additionally, a potential buyout could adversely affect Dorsey’s live video strategy, which has seen Twitter heavily invest in sports and media streaming partnerships. It may even result in more job losses. Whatever the board decides, most observers simply agree that it needs to reach a conclusion quickly, whilst also restoring faith with investors.