Tech wrap: Twitter swallows TweetDeck

May 25, 2011

Twitter confirmed that it has bought TweetDeck, a popular third-party software application that organizes tweets, the short messages delivered through the online social network. Terms were not disclosed but a source told Reuters earlier this month that a deal for up to $50 million was imminent.

Twitter will seek to notify its users so they can defend themselves before it hands over user information to the authorities, a senior manager said when asked about a privacy dispute in Britain. Users have posted details on Twitter of celebrity scandals, in contravention of so-called super injunctions and could face an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.

“Platforms should have responsibility not to defend the user, but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself,” said Tony Wang, general manager of Twitter’s European operations.

At the conclusion of a two-day forum in Paris, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg warned governments to tread lightly on Internet regulation because moves to tame its rough edges risked hurting its virtues. Their comments exposed deep rifts between tech titans, academics and policy makers as they tried to agree on a message to take to world leaders at the G8 meeting on Thursday in Deauville, France.

Zynga may file for a multibillion-dollar IPO as early as this week, tech blog AllThingsDigital reported, as the maker of the Farmville and Mafia Wars games for Facebook heads toward a long-awaited market debut.

Yahoo said it had made significant progress in negotiations over compensation for a Chinese online payment company spun off from the Alibaba Group that Yahoo partially owns.

Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom said Microsoft could capitalize on its $8.5 billion acquisition of the Internet calling service by expanding into mobile and improving video call quality.

Sony needs to assert control over Sony Ericsson if the handset joint venture is to recoup market share and relevance in the cut-throat world of mobile devices, writes Simon Johnson and Tarmo Virki. To reach its goal, Sony Ericsson needs a dynamic owner with deep pockets and multimedia assets, Johnson and Virki argue.

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