Google to Gobble Up Twitter?

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Is Google seeking to gobble up the social networking platform Twitter?  Rumors raged Friday that talks are afoot for an acquisition to the tune of more than $250 million.

Unsurprisingly, Google would not comment and neither would Twitter.

Twitter founder Biz Stone wrote in a blog post Friday, "It should come as no surprise that Twitter engages in discussions with other companies regularly and on a variety of subjects."

Stone's posting came not long after a piece by tech insider Michael Arrington on TechCrunch, which claimed to have two reputable sources regarding negotiations between Twitter and Google, and said talks are at an early stage, adding the two firms are also looking at developing a real-time search engine for Google.

The latter collaboration appears quite possible, as Stone also wrote on his blog, "Our goal is to build a profitable, independent company and we're just getting started." He also said his message was "a response to the latest Internet speculation about where Twitter is headed."

TechCrunch also suggested a Google acquisition would be for Twitter's value as a search tool, thanks to its real-time database and its search engine, which opens wide doors for interaction between users and all kinds of brands.

Facebook recently attempted to buy Twitter for a half-billion dollars, TechCrunch said, but that was based on overvalued stock. Google would reportedly pay cash and/or public stock, considered the equivalent of cash.

Twitter founders Stone and Evan Williams have dealt with Google before, selling the company Blogger five years ago.

This new news contrasts comments not too long ago made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who called Twitter a "poor man's email," news service AFP reports.

However, Schmidt soon changed his tune and said, "We admire Twitter. We think Twitter did a very good job of exposing a whole new way to communicate."