It’s been clear for a while now that Bill Gross and his UberMedia empire were on a collision course with Twitter. Gross has been buying up a number of third-party clients, bringing more and more of the activity on Twitter under his control, 20% by some estimates.
So last week, when the news broke that Uber was looking to acquire Tweetdeck, the most popular Twitter client, tech folks waited with bated breath. Today the news came down that Tweetdeck would sell to Uber for $30 million, and Twitter responded by blocking several Uber media properties, claiming violations of trademark, privacy and monetization policy.
According to TechCrunch, Gross got on the horn with the higher-ups at Twitter and agreed to some changes that would get Uber back in action. “It took us by surprise because they didn’t raise [these concerns] before,” Gross told Techcrunch. “Whatever [the violation] is we will change it.”
That will start with a name changes –UberTwitter to UberSocial– but the real issue is who’s getting paid. Twitter suspects that Uber is using affiliate links, something the company denies. And as the chart above shows, even if Gross were to acquire several more big clients, Twitter would probably still have enough market share to feel comfortable calling his bluff.
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper