Technology giant Apple considered pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the microblogging service Twitter, according to reports in the US this weekend.
The iPhone and iPad maker, which is the world's biggest company by market value, has not previously made any major forays into social media. The deal would have valued Twitter at around $10bn (£6.4bn) and it would also have signalled Apple's eventual intention to take on Facebook.
The investment would also have shown that Apple boss Tim Cook, left, was keen to step out of the shadow of his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who died last year. However, though talks have taken place in recent months, no negotiations are currently taking place.
Twitter has 140 million users, but has struggled to commercialise the business. Facebook has more successfully brought in advertising revenue, though its stock has slumped by more than one-third since its $100bn stock market debut in May and last week it announced slowed revenue growth.
On Friday, Apple announced that it was going to buy Authen Tec, which develops sensors to read fingerprints, for $356m. That technology would be used to improve security on Apple's array of popular smartphones and tablet computers.
Earlier in the week, Apple also revealed that its growth had suffered in the latest quarter.