Could the Twitter bird turn into a Twitter mouse?
Bloomberg reports that the Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc.
TechCrunch reported last week that Google, Salesforce.com, Microsoft and Verizon had all expressed interest in possibly buying the social network. Twitter has started a process to evaluate a potential sale.
The purchase of Twitter would give Disney a new online outlet for entertainment. The company currently owns ABC and ESPN. Jack Dorsey, the chief executive officer of Twitter, is also on the board of Disney.
Twitter has a market value of $16 billion, which would make it the largest Disney acquisition since the 1996 merger of Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney said that purchasing Twitter would give Disney much larger exposure to the ad dollars that are flowing to social media sites.
“Twitter may give them an opportunity to communicate directly with their customers in an increasingly fragmented media landscape,” Sweeney said.
Twitter has begun working on a content partnership with the NFL, something that could prove beneficial to a media conglomerate like Disney. As TechCrunch reports, ESPN and ABC could benefit from greater digital video partnerships and social media integration.
The potential impact of a Disney-run Twitter remains to be seen. Twitter is a platform that stands on the ideals of free speech, while Disney has had a mixed record with free speech issues in the past.
Neither Disney nor Twitter has officially spoken about the potential purchase yet.