Twitter is in trouble, and customer relations company Salesforce has emerged as a possible buyer. When asked about rumors of an acquisition yesterday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC that he was not willing to "start a precedent by having to address specific deals." He then added: "The reality is we have to look at everything, but we're going to pass on most things."
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Benioff had been "building a case" on why Salesforce should buy the struggling social media network. The outspoken CEO has reportedly described Twitter as a "great brand" and an "unpolished jewel," with huge potential with regards to data-driven fields like advertising and e-commerce. Twitter could even fit into Salesforce's business model thanks to its use as a customer service tool.
Salesforce currently has a market value of roughly $49 billion built on the back of its cloud software services, which help companies and salespeople manage relationships with customers. The firm is keen to take onboard more data to enhance its analytics and marketing skills, and even lost out on a recent bid to buy professional social network LinkedIn. (Microsoft ended up acquiring the company for $26.2 billion instead.)
Speaking this weekend, Benioff said that "data is the currency in software’s new world order" and that he was "looking hard at unique data-rich companies and what I can do to make them more powerful and innovative if combined with Salesforce." Acquiring Twitter would be a substantial challenge for the company though, and investors have already pushed Salesforce stock down 8 percent since rumors about the deal emerged.
But the most recent reports suggest that Salesforce is only bidder for Twitter remaining. Recode reported today that both Disney and Google (previously said to be interested in an acquisition) are out of the running. If Salesforce does decide that Twitter is worth the trouble, it looks like it has an open field to make a bid.