In Silicon Valley, it is sometimes hard to know what is reality and what is fantasy, and a report from the New York Post Thursday evening suggesting Twitter met with Yahoo about a possible merger, falls right in the middle of the two.
The report says Twitter executives met with Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer and her management team several weeks ago to discuss the possibility of the two companies joining forces. The Twitter executives looked at Yahoo's financial situation and discussed whether a strategic partnership would make sense.
The reaction of some people on Twitter itself to the report suggests a lot of people don't think the move would make sense, but one of the sources speaking to the Post had a different take. “Twitter is the destination for instant news, and Yahoo has a lot of eyeballs on its site,” the source said. “The idea isn’t as crazy as you might think.”
The company is said to have bowed out of the bidding process soon after the meeting. Twitter is the latest company to have been named as a potential bidder without ever going as far as signing a 14-page nondisclosure agreement to access Yahoo's sale book, a list which includes Microsoft, the Daily Mail and SoftBank.
Yahoo has been seeking a buyer for the last six months and is currently considering opening bids from the likes of Verizon, AT&T, several private equity groups and one bid from Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert, which is backed by Warren Buffett. Second round bids for Yahoo's core internet business are due early next week.
How serious Twitter was about the possibility of a merger has been questioned. The absence of CEO Jack Dorsey from the talks is an indication that this could have been more about information gathering than anything else.
“When your CEO doesn’t show up for a management meeting, you have to wonder how serious it was,” the Post's source said, adding that Twitter’s interest wasn’t driven by “some huge thesis — it was a flyer.”