Sell Twitter to Facebook Before It's Too Late

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Over at HuffPo, former Monster Worldwide (MWW) President and COO Jim Treacy makes a solid case for a Facebook (FB) buyout of Twitter (TWTR). Here's the part that resonates most with me:

It's not hard to imagine Twitter and Vine (Twitter's globally popular six-second video-clip property) fitting in and thriving as part of the social media pantheon Facebook has assembled. It's equally easy to see how Facebook could benefit from the additions:
· Introduce Twitter and Vine to all the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users.
· Platform leverage and operational synergies galore to exploit (sales and technology, in particular).

I've been riffing that very same line from as far back as November 2012 and as recently as last month.

There's no need to repeat too much of what I've already written. It's on the record at the links. However, something else Treacy wrote in his column requires an extension of thought. Treacy astutely points out:

Shopping Twitter would likely bring immediate and sizeable reward to its' shareholders. Would Facebook or Google pass up a chance to bid on such a well-positioned, strategic asset? Don't think so ...

Stop there ... because you had me at would likely bring immediate and sizeable (or is it sizable!?) reward to its shareholders. Isn't that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's job after all? To maximize returns for shareholders?

I'm not saying Costolo shouldn't focus on building a great company ... an effort that sometimes takes place at the short-term expense of investors (see, e.g., Amazon.com (AMZN)). But Twitter isn't Amazon. The opportunity in front of Twitter isn't near as large the one Amazon has seized and continues to seize, particularly if Twitter stays independent. So, within the context of his company's situation, Costolo does a disservice to TWTR investors by basically trying to show the world how smart he is. The dude's attempting and failing to fight his way out of a steel-reinforced paper bag.

Again, I color the preceding statements at the links laid earlier in this article. But at this point, Costolo's on the verge of shafting shareholders, if he hasn't already. Either sell this thing to Facebook, step aside and let the team over there maximize the obvious (annoying buzzword alert >>) synergies or take Twitter the 501c3 route. Adopt the Wikipedia model.

If one of the above options don't take place, we'll all suffer. Because Twitter absolutely is an excellent platform for so many uses. It would suck to see it go or to watch Costolo ruin it as he attempts to accomplish the next to impossible.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Rocco Pendola is a full-time columnist for TheStreet. He lives in Santa Monica. Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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