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SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 14: Attendees mingle during a break at the first annual Chirp, Twitter Developer's Conference April 14, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Chirp, the Twitter Devloper's Conference is a two day event for developers who work with the popular social networking service. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Silicon Valley's two biggest players are ready to go to battle over the new kid on the block, and they're going to have to pony up some major dollars to bring it into the fold.
Though preliminary discussions have yet to make any progress, both Facebook and Google are considering acquiring microblogging service Twitter, but the cost would be high: somewhere between $8 to $10 billion dollars, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The rumored price range for the buyout of the service that has quickly acheived near cult-like following among celebrities, journalists and, increasingly, political activists worldwide, is especially eye opening considering that it's nearly 100 times the amount of revenue that Twitter is expected to generate this year. The new valuation is more than double the $3.7 billion valuation that Twitter carried in December.
It's unclear at this point how either Facebook or Google would integrate Twitter into their businesses, but the fact that such large amounts are being discussed publicly recalls the turn of the century wheeling and dealing that characterized much of the West Coast technology sector.
Twitter now faces a tough choice: it can stay independent - its founders believe it can be a $100 billion business - and try to continue its rapid growth on its own or be bought at the height of its popularity for a significant amont of money.
Whatever the outcome, you can be sure that the end result will be liked, tweeted and googled to death.