It’s not official yet, but Twitter filed papers on Monday to acquire the TweetDeck microblog client for over $40 million in cash and stock, according to CNN Money, which cited unidentified sources. Rumors about a deal have been circulating for the past several weeks.
Word that a sale was serious came from both both TechCrunch and Reuters (NYSE: TRI) earlier this month. Twitter is not commenting on the reports.
Twitter has been improving its own main site as TweetDeck, Seesmic, Hootsuite and many “Twitter clients” started coming on the scene over the past two years. While it tolerated the emergence of these apps, as Twitter began formulating its ad strategy, it’s started to see these “clients” as unwelcome competition.
Twitter has bought apps as a way to improve its native offering. For example, it acquired iPhone app Tweetie, and partnered with photo add-on TwitPic as it launched its new interface, as part of its mobile version app version.
TweetDeck was considered an acquisition target by Twitter-related app maker UberMedia, but that deal collapsed.