Arrington reports that Twitter will buy TweetDeck for $40-50M.
This is an odd, defensive acquisition. Uber Media had been reported as locking up the acquisition of Tweetdeck, but Twitter wants to quash any chance of Uber moving forward with plans for an alternate network to Twitter based on the user communities of Tweetdeck, Echofon, and other clients.
The client vendors are scared because of Twitter’s expansionist moves into waht was formerly a thriving ecosystem, which Twitter undermined by acquiring Tweetie, and then aggressively stating that no new clients would be allowed to access the Twitter API.
Looks like a good cash out for Ian Dodsworth and the Tweetdeck guys, although I am betting — no matter what Twitter people will say — the Tweetdeck product is headed for the scrapheap. If Twitter wanted to develop (or acquire) a multi-panel Twitter client like Tweetdeck they would have rolled that out already. Therefore, this is not a tactical product acquisition, but a strategic blockage of Uber Media’s plans.