Twitter is reportedly in danger of becoming a “Mickey Mouse Outfit,” as the Walt Disney Company is said to be considering an acquisition of the popular short messaging service. The entertainment giant may find itself in a three-way battle for the company, as Google and Salesforce are also said to be considering making an offer.
After receiving interest in discussing a deal, Twitter has started a process to evaluate a potential sale. Salesforce.com Inc. is also considering a bid and is working with Bank of America on the process, according to other people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.
Representatives for Twitter and Disney didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The move could be beneficial to Twitter, as they could gain access to Disney’s massive media library, including content from sources such as ABC, ESPN, and the Disney Channel. Meanwhile, Disney would gain another online outlet to distribute its sports, entertainment and news content. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a member of the Disney board.
“It’s a video distribution play,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co told Bloomberg. “What Disney has to think about is what is its place in a post cord-cutting world. They are investing in technology for distribution — and this would give them the platform to reach audiences around the world.”
Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger is known as a strategic thinker, and has historically been willing to make bold moves. He led the $7.4 billion acquisition of animation studio Pixar in 2006, just months after he became CEO.
Disney’s main business – cable television – is losing viewers as it continues to face increasing competition from online video providers. Iger has made investments in online media businesses, including video streaming service Hulu, digital media company Vice, and Major League Baseball’s BAMTech. (Twitter partners with BAMTech for its new live streaming services.)
Twitter carries a market value of $16 billion, which would make it Disney’s largest acquisition since it grabbed Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion in 1996.