Google, Microsoft and Facebook are all interested in adding Twitter to their internet marketing services, according to reports, which has led one commentator to speculate as to the site's possible asking price.

Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling noted an article in the Wall Street Journal that claimed the technology companies were in "low-level" talks to buy the social media site for an estimated $8-10 billion (£5-6.25 billion).

He suggested that while Microsoft and Google could meet this valuation with cash, Facebook would have to include stock options and other incentives to persuade Twitter to accept an offer.

Mr Sterling noted that "it wouldn't be hard to imagine Google or Microsoft paying $8 billion in cash for the site", pointing out that Google had recently had a $6 billion offer for Groupon turned down.

The expert suggested that a bidding war may break out between the two firms, as each would be keen to add Twitter's services to its business, while keeping it out of the hands of its rivals.

Microsoft and Google are already involved in an argument over search, with Google accusing Bing of copying its results.

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