Twitter plans to conclude sale negotiations by October 27, according to Reuters, when the social media company is slated to report third-quarter earnings. Recode reports Google and Disney are no longer considering buying the company, and that Apple is looking not so interested.
That leaves Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff increasingly in a bidding war with himself. While he's thought to be keen on Twitter, Benioff is now doing his best to play it cool. On Wednesday, the king of the cloud said Salesforce looks at a lot of companies and declines to bid aggressively on most of them.
To CNBC, he reportedly said, "It's in our interest to look at everything. We have to go deep on everything. We have to understand what is possible for our shareholders and what isn't. But in the scheme of things, if you look back at my track record as a CEO, I think you'll find that while I look at a lot of things, I actually pass on most."
To The New York Times, "This is a huge messaging and communications service," referring to Twitter, and adding, "I use mergers and acquisition activity to think about the market."
A purchase of Twitter could open customer service possibilities for Salesforce and provide the company with consumer insights. As my colleague Salvador Rodriguez reported this week, Twitter is currently touting research that shows that customers who get support help from a brand on Twitter spend 3 to 20 percent more.
As other parties that previously appeared interested drop off the list of possible buyers, you might wonder whether Benioff is just trying not to let Twitter get too confident on pricing. Then again, an analyst pointed out to the Times that a Twitter purchase could actually be quite disastrous for Salesforce.
"This would be a disaster ... Benioff is a visionary, but this could blow up. Engineers could leave Salesforce, and it would send the stock down 30 or 40 percent," Joel Fishbein, managing director at financial services firm BTIG, told the Times.
The Times reports that Salesforce is unprofitable and has a market cap of $46 billion, and the company's stock has dipped since it emerged as a possible bidder on the social media company. Twitter is valued at $17 billion.