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Elon Musk and Twitter acquisition: Musk has reached a $44bn deal to buy Twitter in a takeover that will give the world’s richest man control of a social network with more than 200 million users.
The sale will put the Tesla chief executive in charge of a company that he has frequently criticized, claiming it has not lived up to its potential as a platform for “free speech”.
The deal on Monday comes after a dramatic few weeks of speculation about Twitter’s future, triggered by Musk’s emergence as the platform’s largest single shareholder on 4 April. He then declared a takeover bid on 14 April, offering to buy all Twitter’s shares for $54.20 each.
Musk is himself a prominent user of the app, with 83m followers, and tweeted as early as 2017 expressing interest in buying the company. He has signaled that Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company in order to build trust with users and do better at serving what he calls the “societal imperative” of free speech.
Can Musk turn Twitter around?
Elon Musk and Twitter acquisition: As part of the takeover, which is expected to close later this year, Twitter’s shares will be delisted and it will be taken private.
Mr Musk has suggested this will give him freedom to make the changes he wants to the business.
Among other ideas, he has suggested allowing longer posts and introducing the ability to edit them after they have been published.
Twitter shares on Monday closed more than 5% higher after the deal was announced.
But the price remained lower than Mr Musk’s $54.20 per share offer, a sign that Wall Street believes he is overpaying for the firm.
Mr Musk has said he doesn’t “care about the economics” of the purchase. However, he will take on a company with a chequered record of financial performance.
Despite its influence, Twitter has rarely turned a profit and user growth, particularly in the US, has slowed.
The company, founded in 2004, ended 2021 with $5bn in revenue and 217 million daily users globally – a fraction of the figures claimed by other platforms such as Facebook.
Bret Taylor, chair of Twitter’s board, said it had fully assessed Mr Musk’s offer and it was “the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders”. – BBC
‘China Leverage Over Town Square?’ Jeff Bezos On Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal
Elon Musk and Twitter acquisition: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos today responded to billionaire Elon Musk’s whopping $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, questioning the leverage the Chinese government may or may not gain now, following Musk’s hostile takeover of the social media platform.
The world’s second richest man, formerly the richest before Tesla CEO and founder Musk overtook him, unleashed a series of tweets this morning that drew attention to the close ties Elon Musk’s company shares with China, which is the world’s biggest electric vehicle market and the first place where Tesla set up an overseas factory.
Bezos retweeted New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe, who pointed out Tesla’s massive market in China and the electric vehicle giant’s reliance on Chinese suppliers for its EV batteries. The reporter then noted that China’s ban on Twitter since 2009 had previously ensured the Chinese government had practically no control over the microblogging site, something that may have just changed as a result of the looming switch in ownership.
Offering his own two cents on potential conflicts of interest to come, Bezos responded to Forsyth’s observation in his repost: “Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”
Bezos’ jab at Twitter being a town square potentially subject to unwarranted influence is a response to Musk’s own statement soon after the deal was sealed. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk had said earlier in the day. – NDTV
Scrutiny of the takeover is likely to be intense.
Elon Musk and Twitter acquisition: Scrutiny is likely to be intense. Twitter is not the biggest social platform — it has more than 217 million daily users, compared with billions for Facebook and Instagram — but it has had an outsize role in shaping narratives around the world. Political leaders have made it a megaphone, while companies, celebrities and others have used it to hone images and make money.
Mr. Musk’s takeover attracted concern about the world’s richest person having control of an influential communication platform. A director at a women’s rights organization called it “a massively slippery slope.”
Twitter’s board has already unanimously approved the deal. Here’s what’s next for Twitter:
- Shareholders will vote on whether to accept the deal. It will also be reviewed by regulators, but they are unlikely to seriously challenge the transaction, former antitrust officials said, since the government most commonly intervenes to stop a deal when a company is buying a competitor.
- It is expected to take three to six months for the deal to close, according to Twitter’s chief executive, Parag Agrawal. He told Twitter employees that he would remain in his role at least until the deal closes, according to two people who attended an all-hands meeting and were not authorized to speak publicly. He also urged employees to “operate Twitter as we always have.”
- Mr. Musk has repeatedly said he wants to “transform” the platform by promoting more free speech and giving users more control over what they see on it. On Monday, he said he would focus on “new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans.”
- Executives tried to assure employees that they wouldn’t be shortchanged by Mr. Musk’s acquisition. Mr. Agrawal told them that their stock options would convert to cash when the deal with Mr. Musk closes. Employees would receive their same benefits packages for a year after the deal was finalized, and there were no immediate plans for layoffs, he added.
- Conservatives, who feel they have been unduly silenced by social media platforms, cheered the news of Mr. Musk’s deal. Mr. Agrawal was asked by employees whether former President Donald J. Trump, who was banned from the service after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, would be reinstated. Mr. Agrawal deferred, leaving the question for Mr. Musk to answer once he takes over the company. For Mr. Trump’s part, he told Fox News on Monday that he would stick with posting on his own social network, Truth Social. – NYTimes