elon musk twitter account have agreed to a $44 billion agreement.
Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, has been given control of Twitter, a social media platform with far-reaching implications for politics and society.
According to a Twitter release, Musk would pay $44 billion, or $54.20 per share, to take the social media business private.
The deal comes less than two weeks after Musk made a bid to purchase Twitter, putting the company’s board and management into a panic as they tried to figure out whether Musk was serious and if his offer was reasonable.
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Musk has promised to “unlock” Twitter’s potential by easing what he considers to be unjust free speech constraints.
“Free expression is the backbone of a healthy democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where important issues affecting humanity’s future are discussed,” he said in a statement released Monday.
The outspoken entrepreneur is a frequent user of Twitter, where he has over 83 million followers and routinely publishes jokes, promotes his firms Tesla and SpaceX, and squabbles with detractors.
In January, Musk started buying Twitter stock. On April 4, he announced that he had surpassed Warren Buffett as the company’s largest individual shareholder. He started asking for reforms to the platform, such as easing the limits around what users may publish, prohibiting spam bots, and making the site’s algorithm public.
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“I hope that even my harshest detractors stay on Twitter, since that is what free expression means,” Musk said on Monday, before the agreement was publicized.
However, other analysts believe that if Musk lowers the content standards, Twitter would become inundated with disinformation and poisonous tweets.
“A platform that exclusively controlled unlawful content would rapidly be overwhelmed with trash and junk,” said Jameel Jaffer of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute. “That type of platform would be ineffective for anybody, regardless of their political beliefs.”
Similar concerns are shared by other academics, such as Paul Barrett of NYU’s Stern School for Business and Human Rights.
“Without strong content filtering, the platform Musk aspires to possess will be inundated by spam, porn, anti-vaccination propaganda, QAnon theories, and fraudulent attempts to sabotage the midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election,” Barrett warned.
The ‘poison pill’ gave Twitter extra time to think about the offer.
Musk unleashed a fresh bombshell with his unsolicited $54.20-a-share bid to purchase the whole business and take it private, after receiving and then rejecting an invitation to join Twitter’s board of directors.
Many questioned Musk’s seriousness due to a lack of specifics about how he planned to fund the purchase. As the company’s leadership reviewed the offer, the board promptly enacted a so-called “poison pill,” which acted as a speed bump, preventing Musk from buying further shares on the open market.
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“The Board gained some more time with the poison pill, but eventually had to come to the negotiating table with Musk to get this transaction done as the clock struck midnight on Twitter’s history as a public company,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.
Musk stated last week that he had secured the funds to take Twitter private. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and many other banks offered to finance $25.5 billion, backed in part by some of Musk’s Tesla shares, and he would give up to $21 billion in cash, according to a regulatory filing.
Those particulars may have influenced the board’s decision. While Twitter’s stock reached highs of more than $70 per share last year, it has since dipped below $40, owing to concerns about the company’s capacity to develop.
“Elon’s proposal was evaluated by the Twitter Board in a rigorous and thorough manner, with a deliberate emphasis on value, certainty, and funding. The proposed deal would provide a significant cash premium to Twitter shareholders, and we think it is the best way ahead for the company’s owners “Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, Bret Taylor, said in a statement.