Twitter Charts Solo Path as Salesforce Rules Out Takeover

Twitter Charts Solo Path as Salesforce Rules Out TakeoverHIGHLIGHTS

  • Salesforce said on Friday that it would not make a bid
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey may now have to chart an independent course
  • Dorsey is likely to face intense scrutiny over his continued role as CEO

Twitter Inc faces an uncertain future after Inc , the last of the companies believed to be interested in buying the troubled social network, said on Friday that it would not make a bid.

Twitter and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey may now have to chart an independent course in the face of stagnant user growth, heavy losses and mounting competition from the likes of Facebook’s Instagram and Snap Inc’s Snapchat.

Dorsey is likely to face intense scrutiny over his continued role as CEO of both Twitter and the payment company Square , especially if the company’s next quarterly report in late October is as weak as some analysts expect.

Twitter grew rapidly for years after it was founded in 2006, and has assumed a unique and influential position in the global media ecosystem. But the company has been plagued by management turmoil since its earliest days and has long been criticized for a lack of product innovation and, more recently, lack of user growth.

Twitter last month hired bankers to field acquisition offers and companies including Alphabet and Disney expressed interest, according to sources familiar with the process. Google and Disney decided not to proceed, the sources said, leaving Salesforce, a provider of cloud computing software for businesses, as the last reported bidder.(Also see: Twitter Seeks New Path After Potential Bidders Said to Back Off)

But Salesforce investors reacted poorly to the idea, sending the company’s stock down when its interest in Twitter first emerged. Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff said on Friday he had ruled out a bid.

“In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Benioff told the Financial Times in an interview, saying there were many reasons the fit was not right, including price and the culture of the company.

A spokeswoman for Salesforce confirmed the comments. Twitter declined to comment.

Twitter’s shares closed 5 percent lower Friday at $16.88, while those of Salesforce rose 5 percent to $74.27.

Twitter had planned to wrap up any sale discussions by the time it reports earnings at the end of October, sources told Reuters earlier this week.

It is still possible that other bidders could emerge, according to people familiar with the matter. One source said the company may consider possible strategic investments rather than a buyout.

With a market cap of about $12 billion and losses running at about $400 million a year, Twitter was likely judged too expensive by prospective buyers.

(Also see: Twitter to Reportedly Conclude Sale Deliberations This Month)

Growth stalls
As an independent company, Twitter will likely need to address its unusual leadership situation, analysts said. Dorsey has split his time between Twitter and Square since he returned as Twitter’s permanent CEO about a year ago.

Investors are likely to pressure the company to appoint a “full-time” chief executive, said SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck.

“The most common question we receive from investors is given the struggling turnaround, doesn’t the company need a full-time CEO?” Peck said.

Dorsey sent a memo to employees earlier this month calling the company “the people’s news network,” and rallying them to “deliver a better Twitter faster.”

Twitter enjoyed a period of explosive growth in both users and revenues after its founding a decade ago, but growth has stalled over the past several years.

The company missed Wall Street’s sales expectations in both the first and second quarters of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, and has yet to produce a net profit in 11 quarters as a public company. It will report third quarter results October 27, which SunTrust analyst Peck said he expects to be weak with data showing monthly active users flat or down.

To be sure, Twitter has become a focal point in the US presidential election. Many stories have unfolded on its service and comments made by the candidates have made big news themselves. No media company has a mobile product with as much reach as Twitter, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said.

Twitter has recently signed deals with a number of media companies and sports organizations to stream major events such as the presidential debates and Thursday Night National Football League games.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Twitter, Salesforce, Social, Apps, Jack Dorsey

EU Lawmaker Says Tinder Breaches Data Protection Rules

EU Lawmaker Says Tinder Breaches Data Protection Rules

An EU lawmaker says dating app Tinder breaches the bloc’s data protection rules because it uses personal data without explicit consent and should be investigated by the European Commission.

The dating app, owned by website operator Match Group Inc, imposes unlawful conditions on users, pushing them to consent to unclear clauses that allow the company to use their data even after they close their accounts, socialist lawmaker Marc Tarabella said in a statement.

“Once you subscribe, the company can do whatever it wants with your data. It can show them, distribute them to whomever or even modify them. The lack of transparency cannot be the rule,” Tarabella said.

The Belgian politician , who in 2014 was among the leading European parliament members calling for a break-up of Google’s search engine from its commercial services, also accused dating app Happn and jogging app Runkeeper of violating EU data protection rules.

He called for a European investigation into these companies and urged the European Commission to adopt heavy sanctions against companies that impose “abusive clauses” for the use of their apps.


Tinder representatives were not immediately available for comment.

A Commission spokeswoman said it was up to national authorities to enforce EU rules on data and consumer protection. However, the Commission has conducted such investigations in the past.

“The problem is always the lack of transparency and the notion of consent,” Tarabella said, adding that companies often sell users’ data to third parties without consumers being aware or having explicitly consented to it.

EU rules protect consumers who no longer want their data to be used. Companies are also required to provide “easy-to-understand information” and to obtain an explicit consent from users to process personal data.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Dating Apps, EU, European Union, Online Dating, Tinder


fb, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft again ecu Hate Speech rules

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft Back EU Hate Speech Rules

internet giants fb, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft signed up Tuesday to a brand new ecu code of behavioragainst hate speech, the ecu fee said.

americabased firms have agreed to speed up their reactions when unlawful material is flagged up, with the aim of searching in any respect suspicious material within 24 hours.

“The latest terror assaults have reminded us of the pressing want to deal with illegal on line hate speech,” ecu Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova stated in a announcement, relating to attacks in Paris and Brussels claimed by way of the Islamic kingdom jihadist institution.

“I welcome the commitment of global IT groups to review the majority of legitimate notifications forelimination of illegal hate speech in much less than 24 hours and take away or disable access to suchcontent material, if important.”

The code of conduct also includes the internet corporations building stronger relations with civil societyorganizations that flag up content material that incites hate or violence.

the usa firms insisted that following the eu rules would not compromise freedom of speech.

“We remain committed to letting the Tweets glide. but, there is a clear difference among freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate,” stated Twitter’s Head of Public policy for Europe, Karen White.

Monika Bickert, Head of global policy control at fb, said they “welcome today’s announcement and thethreat to retain our work with the fee and wider tech industry to fight hate speech.”

“We urge human beings to apply our reporting tools in the event that they discover content that theyconsider violates our requirements so we can inspect. Our groups around the sector evaluation thesereports around the clock and take rapid action,” she added.

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Tags: fb, Google, net, Microsoft, Social, Twitter, YouTube