Elon Musk Buys Twitter For $44 Billion

Will Trump Return to Twitter After Musk Takeover?



“Elon Musk Presenting Tesla’s Fully Autonomous Future” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Miles Kastner, Journalist

Elon Musk struck a deal on Monday to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion, becoming the world’s richest person to do so. The popular social network is frequented by world leaders, celebrities, and cultural trendsetters.

Mr. Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, a 38 percent premium over the company’s current share price. It would be the largest takeover of a public corporation in at least two decades. Mr. Musk said in a statement announcing the transaction, “Free speech is the backbone of a functional democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where subjects crucial to the future of humanity are debated.” “Twitter has enormous potential, and I’m excited to work with the company and the Twitter community to realize it.”

The purchase, which has received full board approval, is likely to finalize this year, subject to a vote of Twitter shareholders and regulatory approvals.

The historic agreement brings to a close what had appeared to be an impossible endeavor by Mr. Musk, 50, to acquire the social media business — and instantly raises questions about what he would do with the platform and how his actions will impact global online expression.

On Twitter, the billionaire has over 83 million followers and has romped around the platform, throwing insults and memes. He has stated numerous times that he wishes to “change” the platform by encouraging more free expression.

Twitter has become a lightning rod for controversy in recent years, as some users propagate disinformation and other harmful content. Former President Donald J. Trump frequently turned to Twitter to insult and inflame, before getting banned from the platform after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol last year.  In order to deal with unanticipated scenarios, the organization has been compelled to adopt policies on the fly on several occasions.

Mr. Musk has had a long and complex history with online expression. He tried to shut down a Twitter account that followed his private jet’s movements this year, citing personal and safety concerns. He wrote on Monday that he hoped his harshest detractors would stay on Twitter because “that is what free speech means.”

According to one analyst, if Musk’s purchase of Twitter is not subject to constraints, it might establish a dangerous precedent for other social media companies to follow. Twitter is being questioned regarding its economic practices in addition to its speech issues. For years, the company has battled to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Twitter’s ad business, which is its primary source of revenue, has been unreliable. For eight of the last ten years, Twitter has not made a profit.

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