Blogs clash over Google/Twitter report

Tech news sites disagree over purpose of talks

NEW YORK -- Two prominent technology news blogs clashed on Friday morning over a report one of them issued that said Google might try to buy Internet startup Twitter.

TechCrunch proprietor Michael Arrington, citing three unnamed sources, said Thursday night that Google would pay for Twitter in cash, stock or a combination of the two.

The companies also are considering working together on a Google real-time search engine, he wrote.

Hours after Arrington's blog entry, Kara Swisher reported on her Boomtown blog said the story was inaccurate, citing "a number of sources."

"In fact, Twitter and Google have simply been engaged in 'some product-related discussions,' according to one source," Swisher wrote.

Arrington could not be immediately reached for comment. TechCrunch stands by its story, said Robin Wauters, a blogger for the site who answered an e-mail directed at Arrington.

Twitter is a service that allows people to send short text messages to a network of friends. Its popularity is growing, particularly among journalists looking for new ways to get people to read their news and commentary.

The San Francisco-based company has yet to make any money. That has not stopped the technology world from speculating on who will scoop up the company, though co-founder Biz Stone told Reuters in March that it is not considering a merger or a buyout.

A Google spokeswoman declined comment. Twitter could not be reached for comment.

"We don't comment on rumor and speculation," a Google spokeswoman told The Hollywood Reporter.

Boomtown is a blog on the website All Things Digital, which is owned by Wall Street Journal Dow Jones & Co. That company, in turn, is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.