The legal battle between the world’s richest man and Twitter has come to an end as Elon Musk has officially taken over the social media platform. The months-long saga began with Musk’s $44 billion offer to buy Twitter in April 2022. Initially, Twitter’s board of directors was reluctant to hand over the ownership to a single entity, and even adopted the « poison pill » strategy to prevent the takeover. However, the board changed its mind soon after and said it would accept the offer.
In the months that followed, Musk began to question Twitter on the number of spam bots and their proportion to real accounts, and in July, threatened to pull out of the deal. Twitter then took Musk to court, arguing that the agreement bound him to buy the company. In a surprising turn of events, Musk earlier this month said that he was ready to stick to his original offer, provided Twitter dropped legal action against him.
Closing the deal for $54.20 a share on Oct. 27, 2022, the Tesla and SpaceX chief is now in charge of one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. A CNBC report says that Musk secured debt financing from investment banks and backing from tech CEOs, including cryptocurrency exchange Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao. Earlier this week, the billionaire walked into Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday with a bathroom sink in his hand, a nod to let the change « sink in » among employees and his followers. As per a report by Business Insider, Twitter and Musk closed the deal on Thursday evening. Earlier today, Musk tweeted, « the bird is freed, » suggesting that his acquisition has freed Twitter from its previous restrictions. His bio also reads « Chief Twit. »
Immediately after the Twitter takeover, Musk fired several top executives of the company, including CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. Per a report by Reuters, Agrawal and Segal were in the « headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out. » Last week, there were reports about Musk planning to fire 75 percent of Twitter’s workforce, reducing the staff to about 2,000 people. Currently, Twitter has about 7,500 employees handling various key tasks, including content moderation, product development, coordinating with government agencies worldwide, and handling legal matters. There were fears that the job cuts would not only affect employees’ livelihoods, but also impact the moderation of hate speech on the platform.
Now that Musk officially owns Twitter, what’s next? Declaring himself a free-speech absolutist, Musk has expressed his intentions to limit the content restrictions on Twitter, making it a digital town square « where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner. » In addition, Musk wants to reduce the number of spam bots and fake accounts on the platform. His ultimate goal is to make Twitter a « Super app, » however, he cannot do that on his own and will have to establish a new team of leaders to turn his vision into reality. In the meantime, banned Twitter accounts could make a comeback to the platform, including those of Donald Trump and Kanye West.
Source: Elon Musk/Twitter, CNBC, Business Insider, Reuters
the bird is freed— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022