Last year, rumors circulated that Disney executives were eyeing a purchase of Twitter, the influential social media network favored by current U.S. President Donald Trump -- and today at the V.F. New Establishment Summit, Disney chief Robert Iger confirmed those reports.
Per The Wall Street Journal's Ben Fritz, the idea was for the studio to control an influential media distribution avenue, but they abandoned the idea and instead acquired BamTech.
A Disney acquisition of Twitter, especially during the Obama Administration, would likely have been met with significant federal scrutiny since one of the largest media/entertainment companies in the world would be purchasing an exclusive channel to Twitter's massive built-in user base.
Disney has been in the business of big, splashy acquisitions of late, though, and they have paid dividends: $4 billion to acquire Marvel has been widely regarded as a shrewd move by the studio, and paying about the same amount a few years later to get Lucasfilm was a no-brainer. BamTech rose in value following the Disney acquisition.
That said, there was some concern not just about the political and economic ramifications of another big push toward media consolidation but by the potential damage Twitter's contentious and abusive atmosphere could do to Disney's family-friendly brand.
There is no indication that Disney made a serious move to acquire Twitter, whom they were reported to be interested in back in September. At the time, neither company had comment.
Twitter first started evaluating a potential sale after receiving increasing interest from multiple corporations. Other companies considering making a bid for Twitter were Google, Verizon, and Salesforce.com.
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey is also on the board of Disney.