Apple, Twitter not currently in discussions for stake: sources

SAN FRANCISCO Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:24pm EDT

A man looks at his Apple iPad in front an Apple logo outside an Apple store in downtown Shanghai March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Aly Song

A man looks at his Apple iPad in front an Apple logo outside an Apple store in downtown Shanghai March 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Twitter are currently not in discussions on the mobile technology giant taking a stake in the popular social networking site, sources familiar with the matter said.

Apple in recent months has held negotiations with Twitter to explore investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the company, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the matter. The Wall Street Journal said such discussion were held over a year ago, citing a person familiar with the matter.

It is unclear if the two companies talked about a deal in the past and at what level such discussions were held, but there are no current, formal talks between the companies on an investment or acquisition, the sources said.

Both Apple and Twitter declined to comment.

The iPhone and iPad maker typically does not take equity stakes in companies and prefers to acquire technologies by buying up smaller startups that are lesser known. Twitter executives have said repeatedly they are in no rush to seek additional financing, either privately or on public markets, since they have "truckloads" of cash.

Apple has never delved deeply into the social media space dominated by Facebook Inc (FB.O), but it has dabbled in trying to make music more social by launching a social network on iTunes called Ping, which has not caught on.

Twitter, the Internet phenomenon with some 140 million users that allows people to "tweet" 140-character messages, is already well integrated into Apple smartphones and tablets. Apple customers can directly share their comments on Twitter when on their iPhones, iPads or Mac line of computers.

Twitter, the San Francisco-based startup that is viewed as the most significant candidate for the public markets following Facebook, is ramping up its efforts to generate revenue from the 400 million tweets that cross its networks daily.

(Reporting By Poornima Gupta and Jonathan Weber; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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