Believe who you want. Twitter may or may not be possibly in late stage discussions with Apple about an acquisition (we're going with no, though some have said otherwise). Now how about putting some money on it?
Last month we covered a Panama-based company called BetOnline that's doing exactly that, allowing users to bet on which company (if any) will be acquiring Twitter in 2009. Things are apparently going well for the company, because it has just opened up another round of betting, updated with a new set of intial odds. And the money is currently on Apple, which is a 2-1 favorite for gobbling up the micromessaging startup sometime this year.
The figures are based on the closing volumes of bets from the first round ‘twitter acquisition' market, along with input from BetOnline researchers who apparently are putting a lot of faith into the Apple rumors (or they know something we don't).
Google, which was at even money for the last round, has fallen to 5-to-2 odds in the new round. Microsoft has jumped from 10-to-1 odds to 5-to-1. And apparently the bookies believe that someone is going to buy Twitter soon, because the odds for ‘no acquisition' have gone from 2.5-to-1 to 4-to-1.
Here's the full list of intitial odds. Note that these will change over time, so now might be your chance to jump on this if you have any inside info.
Apple +200 – (2-to-1)
Google +250 – (5-to-2)
Microsoft +500 – ( 5-to-1)
Time-Warner +800 – (8-to-1)
Yahoo +1500 – (15-to-1)
Field +600 – (6-to-1)
No Sale +400 (4-to-1)
Betting on startup acquisitions is cool enough, but the BetOnline team is doing something even more awesome. They're currently climbing Mount Everest, where they're going to place the first online bet to be taken from the highest point on Earth. And they're going to be giving away $20,000 to the charity that receives the most ‘@' reply votes on their Twitter account before they make the top. They're about half way there, with plans to make it to the summit in the second half of this month. Wow. And may The Force be with you guys…