Feeds

back to article Twitter's Tweetdeck must 'file accounts or be struck off'

Tweetdeck Ltd could be closed down after repeatedly failing to file its financial accounts with the UK's Companies House, Sky News is reporting. The Blighty-based outfit - which bills itself as "an app that brings more flexibility and insight to power users" - was bought by US social media firm Twitter in May 2011 for $40m. It …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Meh

I think HMRC will look at this and wonder why they continue with a business that has no value.....

Questions may be asked as to where the profit is?

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Advertising income.... £126,238,329

Royalty payments to Twitter (Cayman Islands) Inc for use of Twitter Logo.... £126,238,328

Net UK Profit.... £1

1
0
Bronze badge

A £40m asset that can't even be bothered to comply with statutory legal regulations.

That would have me hastening to distance myself from it, more than any "bad report" of profits could ever do. Hell, you could have made a £40m loss last year and STILL it wouldn't be as bad as failing to supply the information necessary about that by law.

I do like the punishment, though. Prior warning. Reasonable fine and another warning. Reasonable fine and (now) a sterner warning. And - if they continue - now you're not a company any more, making it illegal to trade, forcibly winding up the company and presumingly legal investigation into the actions of the directors etc. I think that's quite fair, given the circumstances.

The pitiful profit is neither here not there. Many companies make a pitiful profit whether they are valued at billions or not. The important thing is that there's a book somewhere with a record of what you did with your money - and not filing returns is HIGHLY suggestive that that book doesn't exist or would reveal something that's illegal. It's telling that the last director filed a return before he left, and the new owners have filed NOTHING.

Maybe they didn't buy what they thought, or it's been embarrassing to report they've tanked the company, or they have uncovered discrepancies that stem from the previous director's reign. But not telling which (or even initiating a lawsuit in the case of the latter) is more detrimental, and more telling, than anything they could have done.

Hell, if it comes to it, probably just asking for more time would have worked wonders. But silence and not filing? I'd do everything to disassociate myself the second I heard that if I had anything to do with them.

1
0
Silver badge

Actually there is a major problem with the current punishment regime.

A lot of people set up a new company, trade for about 2 and bit years without filing accounts until it gets stuck off, and then get away with not paying any tax on the profits, because the company no longer exists, and therefore HMRC is unable to collect the tax. The fines that Companies House levies don't get collected for the same reason.

Also, there is no legal investigation into the actions of the directors.

1
0
Bronze badge

Directors

Tweetdeck Ltd & Twitter UK Ltd share the same 2 x directors in the UK - shame if they were to be disqualified!

0
0

HMRC

True - but thats not a fault of Companies House but of HMRC, who moves so slowly they make glaciers look like Usain Bolt.

Plus CH can't look into Directors unless somebody complains about them and initiates proceeding, which normally should be creditors of the company i.e. HMRC.

The problem is that they, along with their over expensive computer systems, are not fit for purpose.

0
0

I thought they were trying to get rid of tweetdeck ? Based on the fact the android app hasn't been updated since the buyout, and that it still supports "google buzz", it's fairly obvious that they're trying to fade it out !

0
0
Bod
Bronze badge

killing off

They did wreck the desktop version with a new one devoid of all the bits everyone loved, as if it was a deliberate attempt to kill it. Though they have supported it with updates and it has since finally become as usuable as the old version if you're just using twitter and facebook. Were it outside of Twitter it would probably be linked to G+ by now.

That the mobile version hasn't changed is a good thing.

Will be sad to see it go. Twitter and Facebook clients are annoying, especially the data intensive mobile apps. Other multi service clients I've never got on with, apart from Gravity which is perhaps better than all of them, but sadly stuck in Symbian limbo.

0
0
Silver badge

My question is

Why was Tweetdeck ever worth so much money? The app was free, it contained no advertising and it didn't do much if anything beyond acting as a front end to a few social network services. Basically it called some Twitter / Facebook APIs and presented the results in a list. It wasn't a bad app but how on earth is it or the company worth 40 million dollars?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: My question is

Well for Twitter that was exactly why it was worth money, it stopped people avoiding all twitter spam/ads. So by buying it and immediately trashing it they forced people back to twitters raw feed.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: My question is

Hype.

Some people talk a very good game. Notice that the original director is a "multimillionaire", and has got away perfectly legitimately, one assumes, with lots and lots of money on the basis of setting up a company that did exactly what you describe and nothing more. You'll probably find he's done that in several places and, to be honest, well done to him. He's worked out how to make lots of money legitimately on the basis of fools paying him for something which isn't worth what they think (which, if it were illegal, would mean that almost everything would collapse overnight).

And he's not the one who's looking to be delisted, or the one who hasn't filed accounts (you'll probably find he files accounts religiously every year because - well, he's doing nothing wrong from what I can see), or the one who future companies might look at and say "Oh, hold on now - I heard something about this - you went under, didn't you?". In fact, he was so good he founded it from nothing, sold it for $40m, and only when he was no longer involved (and almost the moment he left) did everything go down the drain. If anything, that makes him sound better!

Similarly, Facebook was never worth what it was floated at. Never. Still isn't now. But some people made a LOT of money by shuffling shares and cash around for a very brief moment (and got rich doing legitimate things), and then dumped the shares on those fools who thought they could only go up in value (which they haven't - in fact, they've done almost nothing but go down in value, and look likely to until the company disappears).

It was never worth $40m. But some entity THOUGHT it was and paid it. It's like someone paying me $40m for a painting I find in my loft that I know is just a cheap painting. So long as I *don't* misrepresent it, or otherwise commit fraud while selling it, if they want to give me $40m for it? That's up to them. I'm not going to argue. I might even tell them I have other bidders (if I do) or that I won't let it go for less than $50m. I'm not going to say "But it's only worth tuppence" unless I'm an absolute idiot - but if **I** said it was a genuine Picasso when I know it's not? That's a different matter.

1
1
Bronze badge

Re: My question is @Lee

Some quick wikiing suggests the owner was the only developer. Iff that's the case, then all they bought was the IP (sourcecode, brand, database of users, etc...) But a big part of what they wanted was in the head of the developer.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: My question is @Lee

They didn't want it at all, they just wanted it gone, like a street gang that starts dealing in mafia terretory (in a film noire ficitonal setting) maybe the mafia will go in shoot a bunch and scare the rest off, maybe they'll pay them off and go "You did a nice job, here take the money and you keep your fingers but if I see you again..." or maybe they'll mix and match or grass them in to the police.

Tweetdeck was the opposite of what twitter want, it was universal, it could be set up so you only saw what you wanted and no adds, it had a nice column view for your lists and made list management easy and it gave you pop up notifications if you so wished. It made twitter usable. Other things vaguely fill the gap but you end up with xyz on your phone and abc on your pc and something else on the other things... All of them doing slightly different things and working in slightly different ways, and in the end you just give up with twitter.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: My question is @Lee

$40m seems expensive when you could have just blocked your API, or put some restriction on it that would then make this software illegal.

The worst that would happen is some web-scraping monstrosity would appear, that didn't use the API, and had to be updated every time you changed the way Twitter worked (which you could do whenever you liked for minimal cost). And, to be honest, you'd be within your rights to do what you liked to the internal code to make it almost impossible for them to keep scraping - eventually to the point where people would just give up on the app because it wouldn't work half the time and would need constant updates.

No, there's more to it than just removing an unwanted "feature" from a third-party's access (i.e. there's nothing to stop anyone else doing exactly what that software did and waiting to also be bought up - it's like paying off terrorists, all you end up doing is making all the others raise their prices and encourage them to try harder because they know there's a pay-off in it).

I bet there was some patent or other property in the business that they wanted, probably related to collating tweets, etc. and which they either already stamped on, or intended to.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: My question is @Lee

If they wanted Tweetdeck gone they could have just blocked it or changed their terms and conditions to impose whatever rules they wanted Tweetdeck to comply with. Shouldn't need them to buy out the company.

0
0
Devil

Re: My question is @Lee

Except, if they block it they'll get instant bad press and a bad rep. If they slowly "kill it off" in an underhanded way, there's a good chance the fallout won't be so severe.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

well that's one way to get rid of it

0
0
Trollface

They are probably still trying to work out how to apply the kind of creative accounting the other multinationals are getting away with...

2
0
FAIL

Might just be plain incompetence

I bet they bought the company, got rid of the board and senior execs, and just manage it as a subsidiary. They probably don't realise that they need to keep filing in the UK.

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.