Twitter Is Off the Takeover Rumor Merry-Go-Round

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(Bloomberg Gadfly) -- The best evidence of Twitter Inc.'s recovery is that acquisition rumors have quieted down.

The company has been a constant subject of mostly groundless acquisition rumors, although in 2016 companies including Walt Disney Co. and Salesforce.com Inc. took a look at a possible purchase. During the depths of investor pessimism about Twitter in 2016, takeover rumors were just about the only thing that pushed company shares higher. 

The Twitter acquisition rumor mill has been less active lately, and no wonder. Particularly with heightened regulatory and public scrutiny of big technology companies, Twitter's likeliest potential acquirers, including Google parent company Alphabet Inc., would have trouble getting a deal through government review.

And for any other interested parties, Twitter's transformation from a Superfund site to not-disaster makes a potential takeover difficult. Twitter's market value is now $23 billion and climbing. Before the acquisition conversations perked up shares in 2016, Twitter's market value was a more palatable, but still richly valued, $15 billion or so.

Still, deal hope springs eternal, and some takeover premium is most likely baked into Twitter's share price. Now, though, stock buyers are excited about Twitter because of Twitter, not because they’re praying for an acquisition. That counts as progress. 

(Bloomberg LP produces TicToc, a global breaking news network for Twitter.) 

Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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