Elon Musk set to pay $44 billion for Twitter

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Elon Musk

Twitter reaches deal to sell to for about $44 billion

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has been given control of Twitter, a social media platform with far-reaching implications for politics and society.

According to a Twitter announcement, Musk will pay $44 billion, or $54.20 per share, to take the social media company private.

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The agreement comes less than two weeks after Musk made an offer to buy Twitter, sending the company’s board and management into a panic as they tried to figure out if Musk was serious and if his offer was fair.

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Elon Musk has promised to “unlock” Twitter’s potential by easing what he considers to be unfair free speech restrictions.

“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,” he said in a statement released Monday.

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The outspoken entrepreneur is a frequent user of Twitter, where he has over 83 million followers and regularly posts memes, promotes his companies Tesla and SpaceX, and squabbles with critics.

In January, Elon Musk began buying Twitter stock. On April 4, he announced that he had surpassed Warren Buffett as the company’s largest individual shareholder. He began calling for changes to the platform, such as loosening the rules about what users can post, banning spam bots, and making the platform’s algorithm public.

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.” Musk tweeted on Monday, before the deal was announced.

However, some analysts believe that if Musk relaxes the content rules, Twitter will become inundated with misinformation and toxic posts.

“A platform that moderated only illegal speech would quickly be overcome by spam and garbage,” said Jameel Jaffer of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute. “That kind of platform wouldn’t work for anyone, whatever their political views.”

Similar concerns are shared by other experts, such as Paul Barrett of NYU’s Stern School for Business and Human Rights.

“Without strict content moderation, the platform Musk wants to own would be inundated with spam, porn, anti-vaccination misinformation, QAnon conspiracies, and deceptive campaigns aimed at sabotaging the midterm elections and 2024.”

The ‘poison pill’ gave Twitter more time to think about the offer.
Musk dropped a new bombshell with his unsolicited $54.20-a-share offer to buy the entire company and take it private, after accepting and then rejecting an invitation to join Twitter’s board of directors.

Many questioned Musk’s seriousness due to a lack of details about how he planned to fund the deal. As the company’s leadership weighed the offer, the board quickly adopted a so-called “poison pill,” which acted as a speed bump, preventing Musk from buying more shares on the open market.

“The Board got some extra time with the poison pill but ultimately had to get to the negotiation table with Musk to get this deal done as the clock struck midnight on Twitter’s history as a public company,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.

Musk announced last week that he had secured the funds to take Twitter private. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and several other banks promised to lend $25.5 billion, backed in part by some of Musk’s Tesla shares, and he would provide 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 recently fallen below $40, owing to concerns about the company’s ability to grow.

“The Twitter Board went through a thorough and thoughtful process to evaluate Elon Musk’s proposal, focusing on value, certainty, and financing.” In a statement, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, Bret Taylor, said, “The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

That is all the latest information on Twitter reaches deal to sell to Elon Musk for about $44 billion

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