Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion
Twitter has reached an agreement with Elon Musk and will soon be owned by the tech billionaire. Ex-US President Donald Trump could also like his plans with the platform.
Twitter has dropped opposition to a takeover by tech billionaire Elon Musk. The online service announced on Mondaythat he has reached a deal with Musk. Twitter will then be taken off the stock market. The price remains at the $54.20 per share Musk offered from the start. Now it’s up to Twitter shareholders to decide whether to accept the offer.
Musk announced in early April that he had quietly and secretly bought a good 9 percent stake in Twitter for weeks. Then events unfolded. Musk should first move into the Twitter board of directors. However, this would have been subject to the condition that the head of the electric car manufacturer Tesla did not increase his stake in Twitter by more than 15 percent. Instead, he turned down the seat on the supervisory board and announced that he wanted to buy the company.
Twitter initially defended itself against Elon Musk
The board of directors then introduced a countermeasure that allows other shareholders to buy shares at lower prices as soon as an attacker like Musk has a stake of more than 15 percent. At the same time, Twitter generally reserved the right to agree to a deal. Musk explains his interest with alleged restrictions on freedom of speech on the short message service, which he wants to turn off.
The 50-year-old last week presented commitments for loans of over 25.5 billion dollars and also wants to bring in shares worth around 21 billion dollars. Musk is by far the richest person in the world. However, his fortune consists almost exclusively of shares in Tesla and his space company SpaceX, so that he would also have to resort to credit for a Twitter purchase.
“Global Platform for Free Speech”
Musk is one of the most active celebrity Twitter users and has around 83 million followers. He announced that he wants to make Twitter a “global platform for free speech” because this is important for civilisation. Musk’s promises of looser regulation drew criticism from experts.
His criticism of the state of free speech on Twitter resonates with supporters of ex-President Donald Trump and other US conservatives. Among other things, they have long railed against the fact that Twitter and other online platforms are taking action against false information about the corona virus and Trump’s uncovered allegations of election fraud.
“Timeouts” instead of locks
Trump was banned from Twitter after expressing sympathy for his supporters who stormed the US Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. The management has so far emphasized that there is no way back to the platform for the ex-president. Musk’s approaches could now make Trump sit up and take notice with a view to running again in the 2024 presidential election: he finds temporary “timeouts” better than permanent exclusions, said the Tesla boss in general. In the early days, Musk himself downplayed the dangers of the corona virus and criticized restrictions in California as “fascist”.
Founded in 2006, Twitter quickly became something of a news industry nervous system. Twitter drew general public attention in 2009 after a user posted photos of a passenger plane that had landed in New York’s Hudson River. For Trump, Twitter was by far the most important means of communication both before and during his tenure.