Apple Inc (AAPL) is buying Twitter Inc (TWTR) for $21 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the transaction.
Twitter, which was valued at $15 billion in July 2016, has been a target of Twitter investor Jack Dorsey.
The acquisition of Twitter, a social media platform, would be one of the biggest investments by a U.S. tech company in a year.
The deal, which has yet to be finalized, would create a standalone company called Twitter Ventures that would have control over its operations.
Twitter will be run by co-founder Jack Dorff.
A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The deal would allow Twitter to scale up operations, as well as grow its user base and reach, said one of those people, who asked not to be identified because the transaction is confidential.
Twitter is also a potential acquisition target for other companies, including Google, the Journal reported.
In the weeks leading up to the deal, Dorsey had expressed a desire to buy Twitter, and in December he asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorfman to reach out to the billionaire investor, according to the report.
The request was later denied, and Dorsey and Dorfman did not speak on the phone.
In October, Dorfman wrote Dorsey asking to discuss the company, according a person familiar with that conversation.
The following month, Dorff asked Dorfman about buying Twitter.
In a tweet the next day, Dorson said, “Twitter is on fire.
Do you think Jack is interested?”
In another tweet the following day, he wrote, “If I’m interested in Twitter, I’m willing to pay for it.”
In the email, Dorman wrote Dorff to say he was “happy to help if you are.”
Dorsey had previously said that he would sell Twitter in 2020, but the company went public in June 2020.
Twitter has since grown its userbase, which now stands at almost 3 billion.
Twitter has been the subject of scrutiny after it was reported that one of its executives, Mike Hearn, used a fake Twitter handle to attack a woman in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando.
The Twitter chief has since been suspended and has apologized for the actions.