"Instagram Testimony Doesn't Add Up"

Nick Bilton, reporting for The New York Times:

Mr. Systrom, who previously worked on mergers and acquisitions at Google, was careful about his interactions with Twitter from the start. He asked to meet in restaurants around San Francisco, rather than in either company’s office, according to people briefed on the talks. When he was handed the term sheet by a Twitter employee, a nonbinding document outlining the terms of a proposed acquisition, he read it and then handed it back, asking Twitter executives to hold onto it over the weekend as he weighed the details, those people said.
It is possible investors would have been better off selling in an open auction, to Twitter or even to Google or Microsoft.

Speaking of accountability, Bilton paints a rather damning picture of Kevin Systrom's behavior in the lead-up to Facebook's acquisition of Instagram.

In essence, it appears Twitter made a $525 million offer just a few days prior to Facebook's $1 billion (later $735 million) acquisition. Systrom claimed not to have ever received any formal offers whilst under oath, but evidence has come to light showing this testimony to be quite inaccurate.

The argument now being made is that Systrom willfully lied to the SEC/DOJ in order to secure a more lucrative deal, an act which has large anti-competitive ramifications for the broader market. Offering dubious claims regarding monetization, the breadth of the Instagram social network, and stating that Instagram would remain "open" to all social networks, there is plenty of evidence freely available contradicting each point of Systrom's testimony.

Still, in spite of the alleged misinformation, I doubt much will come of this situation. The deal was finalized in September and Twitter has since embarked upon a route directly contending with Instagram's filtered photography. I suspect that, if pushed, Systrom would be able to provide loosely adequate responses for most of these allegations — at least well enough to cover himself, Instagram, and Facebook.