An unnamed source claims that Twitter has acquired TweetDeck for an amount between $40 to $50 million in a mix of cash and Twitter stock. The deal was supposedly finalized on Monday, and a formal announcement is expected be made within the next few days.
The purchase was a defensive move, sources claim, so that rival company UberMedia wouldn't have an increased market share after previously assimilating UberTwitter, EchoFon, Twidroyd and a few other Twitter-related startups. The company is reportedly set out to establish its own microblogging service to compete directly with Twitter. Obviously scooping up all the 3rd-party Twitter clients like TweetDeck would better position UberMedia to compete with Twitter’s own Web and mobile clients.
The rivalry between Twitter and UberMedia originally surfaced back in February when Twitter suspended the latter company's Ubersocial, Twidroyd and UberCurrents clients from accessing the site because they allegedly violated its use policies. Twitter eventually granted the clients access to its feeds once again, but then reports surfaced last month that UberMedia decided to launch its own microblogging service and go after TweetDeck.
TweetDeck would be a valuable tool for either service, as it's currently one of the most popular clients. Also available as apps for the PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android and Chrome browser, users can access TweetDeck from several web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer through a limited beta of TweetDeck Web. And in addition to Twitter, TweetDeck can also access Facebook, Google Buzz and Foursquare feeds.
Naturally TweetDeck and Twitter wouldn't comment about the supposed acquisition. "For all those who might be curious, we continue to not comment on rumors," said Twitter's global PR department.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that – along with UberMedia – Twitter had set its sights set on the popular microblogging client. Although not quite as Borg-like as UberMedia, Twitter has previously done its share in scooping up external entities like the popular iPhone Twitter app Tweetie. The company has also partnered with TwicPic in the launch of its new Web-based interface.