Consolidations are an exciting event in the world of business, especially when they involve tech companies. In an age where connectivity and compatibility are crucial, the idea of tech-industry giants merging is not out of the ordinary.
When Google acquired YouTube a decade ago, the purchase made headlines across the world. This is why it should come as no surprise that rumors about a former Microsoft CEO purchasing Twitter had many people and companies watching with anticipation.
Twitter’s popularity has soared over recent years as commercial businesses and prominent media figures have adopted Twitter for both promotional and informative purposes. It would seem reasonable that such a big name in the tech world may have interest in acquiring the company.
However, it seems that these rumors were just that. Despite multiple sites reporting that consideration was being given to the purchase, Steve Ballmer dismissed these reports as false. Balmer was said to be considering a bid along with billionaire Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Both are major shareholders in Twitter, and this may have affected the believability of the reports.
Ballmer has shifted his focus from the tech industry to sports management. He dedicates much of his time today to the Los Angeles Clippers as the franchise’s owner. He does however still participate in tech-related philanthropy, as evidenced by his organization, The Ballmer Group, and their continued activities.
A number of other big names in and associated with tech were also rumored to be making a bid. Salesforce, Disney, and even Google were all brought up as potential buyers, but each of these rumors proved to be unfounded as well.
Google may make the most sense, as their search engine has already been optimize to show tweets. But while Ballmer noted that Google may be able to further the product, he also noted that Twitter itself is a major asset, calling it “irreproducible.”
Ballmer, who has made a fortune from Microsoft stock, spoke favorably about the direction the company is going in. He praised current company CEO Satya Nadella, particularly for the development of Microsoft’s cloud strategy.
Rumors of this type are likely to continue throughout the future. Things like search algorithms and news reports are so closely tied to Twitter now that the site seems to be undergoing an evolution akin to that of Facebook in recent years.
Twitter may end up remaining like Facebook, however, with current management maintaining ownership while continuing to evolve their own product with the times. Regardless, the rumors of an acquisition by Ballmer at this time are false.
Ballmer is known for making risky procurements, with his acquisition of online display ad firm aQuantive in 2007 causing many to think he may want to purchase Twitter as well. However, Ballmer has noted that the $6.3 billion acquisition was his worst mistake during his time with Microsoft. The move came halfway through his service as the company’s CEO from 2000 to 2014. Ballmer has commented plainly on the move, saying it was “…a blow into a gale force wind,” and saying “It was dumb.”