- Twitter imposed a "hugely ambitious" Oct. 27 deadline for negotiations with its potential buyers Wednesday, a date matching the release of its Q3 earnings report, according to Reuters.
- Google, Salesforce and Disney have been the three publicly named suitors for Twitter, but Recode reported Wednesday that sources close to Google say the tech company will not be moving forward with plans for an acquisition despite earlier speculations of it being a front runner. The report was later updated to note that Disney is backing out as well despite buzzed interest last week, and that Apple is also not going to buy.
- The news of the defections sent Twitter's stock plummeting yesterday, and the drop-off continues today, with share prices down around 19% this morning.
The Reuters report suggested the tight deadline is an indication that Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey plans on providing investors and employees with a clear vision for the micro-blogging platform’s financial future.
While a company like Apple never appeared a likely candidate, Google emerged in many speculators' minds as the most sensible buyer for Twitter given its long-standing interest in the micro-blogging service and in social. The tech company has made efforts to build its own social media brands in the past, most notably in the forms of failed Google+ and Buzz, so being able to acquire one of the more established and distinctive platforms in the space made a Twitter acquisition seem likely.
Recode's report — albeit from unnamed sources — suggests a major shakeup with not just Google stepping out of the Twitter race but Disney as well. That would make Salesforce the only major name still considering, and Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Salesforce shares dropped 5.8% over concerns that it might make a bid for the financially sluggish Twitter.
Twitter’s main corporate problems this year stem from underwhelming quarterly reports and a stagnating user base, with eMarketer dropping 2016 growth estimates from 8% to 2% in August.
Dorsey has attempted to turn the platform around since re-joining last year. While recent major video deals and more accommodating options for marketers suggest some headway has been made, this appears to not be enough to make an acquisition of the company appealing.