Is Apple taking a financial interest in Twitter?

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Is Apple planning to spend some of its $117 billion cash hoard on an investment in Twitter? The New York Times reports that the two companies have talked in recent months, but they are not in talks at this time. Apple could potentially invest several hundred million dollars into Twitter, which has already gathered close to $1 billion in funding.

Twitter has plenty of cash, and is expected to generate about $300 million in mostly advertising sales this year. CEO Dick Costolo has said that IPO doesn't occupy his thoughts much. "I just don't worry about that stuff...if you wait until the business and business results speak for themselves, you can be a public company on your own terms."

An Apple investment would be strategic in the sense of having a closer relationship with the Twitter juggernaut, which has about 140 million active users who generate close to 3 billion tweets per week.

The Times noted that Twitter's chief financial officer, Ali Rowghani, spent nine years at Pixar Animation Studios and had close ties to former Apple CEO and Pixar chairman Steve Jobs. Apple so far has not been able to mount its own social network, so working with the dominant services, Facebook and Twitter, is a key strategic initiative. Twitter's integration into Apple's iOS has been a priority for both companies over the last several months.

Both Apple and Twitter declined to comment on the topic.

  • Dan Farber On Twitter»

    Dan has more than 20 years of journalism experience. He has served as editor in chief of CBSNews.com, CNET News, ZDNet, PC Week, and MacWeek.

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