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Think Twitter Will Be Sold? You Can Get 4-1 On That

May 7, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The only place rumors may be more rampant than in Silicon Valley is Hollywood. (OK, maybe Washington, too, but those rumors are b-o-r-i-n-g, if important.) The difference is that the value of a Hollywood rumor is in the rumor itself, whereas 300 miles up California’s 101 freeway the value is in the accuracy.

So perhaps it should be no surprise that an online gambling site is taking bets on which, if any, company will buy Twitter.

TechCrunch has been reporting on the rumors of a Twitter buyout since last month, when Google was supposedly favored. On Monday, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington blogged that the latest Valley rumor was that Apple was prepping to buy Twitter for somewhere around $700 million.

His story was followed up with another saying bookies and bettors at BetOnline have Apple at 2-1 to buy Twitter. Microsoft, which has so much money in the bank it could bail out a few banks all by itself, is at 5-1 to be the buyer.

We didn’t find the link to the latest betting round or odds. You may need to be a registered bettor on the site, which, we note, could become a problem should an American citizen in the U.S. actually place a bet. The legality is a bit murky, and will probably stay that way unless a bill introduced by Rep. Barney Frank actually gains traction.

Meanwhile, here are the odds from the Google rumor, which BetOnline coincidentally posted on tax day in the U.S.

What’s this all mean for recruiters who have embraced Twitter the way Paula Abdul does Idol contestants? Not much for now. But should the company actually get sold, whoever buys it will want to figure out how to monetize it. (Maybe unless the buyer is Google.) That could mean charging for certain things. Twitter has already announced it is working on a fee-based premium service, but unless it’s really special, getting to $700 million is a stretch.  One possibility we’ve heard kicked around is charging commercial services for commercial messages, which would mean those broadcast Tweets from Monster and CareerBuilder and other job boards would carry a pricetag.

We have no idea if that would include messages like the one immediately below this story.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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