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Facebook and Google size up takeover of Twitter: report

Posted on: February 14, 2011

Google Inc and Facebook Inc, plus others, have held low level takeover talks with Twitter that give the Internet sensation a value as high as $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In December, Twitter raised $200 million in financing in a deal that valued it at $3.7 billion. The company, which allows users to broadcast 140-character messages to groups of followers, had 175 million users as of September.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its website that executives at Twitter have held “low level” talks with executives at Facebook and Google in recent months about a possible takeover of Twitter.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the WSJ said other companies have also held similar talks.

“But what’s remarkable is the money that people familiar with the matter say frames the discussions with at least some potential suitors; an estimated valuation in the neighborhood of $8 billion to $10 billion,” the report said.

The paper said the talks have so far gone nowhere and that Google, Facebook and Twitter all declined to comment.

Despite the valuation, the report said Twitter’s executives and board were working on building a large, independent company.

“People familiar with the situation said the company believes it can grow into a $100 billion company,” the WSJ said.

Twitter, created in 2006, is among a crop of popular Internet social networking services that includes Facebook, Zynga and LinkedIn.

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