Elon Musk Buys Twitter: What We Know So Far About The $44 Billion Deal
Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter Inc. for $44 billion, ending weeks of speculation after he took a stake in the social media platform this month. Elon Musk reportedly started buying shares in Twitter from January 2022. Here's what we know so far.
New Delhi: Elon Musk reached an agreement to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion on Monday, promising a more lenient touch to policing content on the social media platform where he, the world’s richest person, promotes his interests, attacks critics and opines on a wide range of issues to more than 83 million followers. The publicly traded firm will now become a private company owned by Musk, who negotiated a purchase price of $54.20 per-share. This announcement comes as a surprise to many especially after Twitter’s reluctance to hand over more than 15% stake of the company to Musk. Recently, the company board had used its “poison pill” tactic in order to avoid a hostile takeover. The news also confirmed many of the details that had already been reported about the transaction. It also left many unanswered questions. Here’s what we know so far, what still needs to be clarified, and what might happen next.
#ElonMusk to buy #Twitter for $44billion. Will be exciting to see what he does with the platform.
— Puja Sethi (@pujasethi11) April 26, 2022
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Elon Musk buys Twitter: What We Know So Far
- Musk is the world’s richest man, but he’s also relatively cash poor for a mega-billionaire, so making his play on Twitter would require him to cash out shares held at Tesla and SpaceX.
- Musk said in a joint statement with Twitter that he wants to make the service “better than ever” with new features while getting rid of automated “spam″ accounts and making its algorithms open to the public to increase trust.
- Elon Musk reportedly started buying shares in Twitter from January 2022. By March 14, Musk had accumulated an over 5 per cent stake in the company as per news agency AP.
- Elon Musk began criticising Twitter for “failing to adhere to free speech.” “Worried about de facto bias in the Twitter algorithm having a major effect on the public; Twitter algorithm should be open source,” Musk tweeted on March 24.
- The deal was cemented roughly two weeks after the billionaire first revealed a 9% stake in the platform. Musk said last week that he had lined up $46.5 billion in financing to buy Twitter, putting pressure on the company’s board to negotiate a deal. Musk later posted a poll the same day, asking users if they wanted an edit button. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal urged users to “vote carefully” as “The consequences of this poll will be important.”
- On April 5, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Elon Musk was appointed to Twitter’s board in a series of tweets. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey welcomed Musk to Twitter’s board. “I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board.”
- On April 10, Twitter CEO Agrawal shared a note on Twitter saying that Musk rejected the company’s offer to join its board.
- On April 14, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla said that he is willing to pay $54.20 per share to buy 100% of the company in an all-cash offer that values the social network at $43.4 billion.
Changes Musk is expected to bring to Twitter
- It all started last month when Musk asked users on Twitter if he should launch a new social media platform since Twitter doesn’t “adhere to right to free of speech”. To which, most users said that he should buy Twitter instead. The Tesla CEO also complained that Twitter suppresses the right to free speech, which is believed to be the first thing he would solve as the owner of Twitter.
- After Musk becomes the owner of Twitter, we could get the edit button on the platform very soon. Though, Twitter has already confirmed to be testing the edit option. Earlier this month, the company said that it will test the edit option with Twitter Blue subscribers first, followed by a stable release.
- One more area where Musk is expected actively work is to remove spam accounts or spambots. In 2020, Musk’s account was among high-profile Twitter accounts that were hacked to push a bitcoin scam.
- Lastly, with Musk being the owner now, we could also see a more open-source Twitter. Musk said that Twitter should be more open source as “there’s no sort of behind-the-scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually.”
(With inputs from agencies)
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