After a few weeks of hesitation, Twitter has finally been sold to Elon Musk. The billionaire will officially take control of the social media company and make it private.
New Owner — Elon Musk
Twitter’s board has accepted the insane offer from Elon Musk after a long wait. Now, the billionaire is the official owner of the popular social media site. And the Tesla CEO plans to take the company private.
Previously, Musk was vocal about his uncertainty about Twitter’s policies. “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. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
The deal cost Musk $44 billion — $54.20 per share — which is a crazy price. Critics had even argued that Twitter’s board wouldn’t be able to take down an offer that good. That said, Musk already owned a huge portion of Twitter shares. His stake was at around 9%, the majority at the time. Yet, when the company executives asked the billionaire to join the board, he rejected, stating his will to change the social media site.
In addition to loosening content policies, Musk has suggested the addition of an edit button for users to revise content. The new Twitter owner has also stated he would like to share the social media platform’s code publicly to reveal the algorithms behind it. He also hopes to cut advertising with a possible subscription model and crackdown on bots, or fake accounts that can promote spam. However, critics are dubious of whether these changes are possible or even necessary in some cases.
Changes Coming To Twitter
Why do critics doubt Musk’s antics? Although he said he’s concerned with the company’s censorship of free speech, Musk has been in trouble with his so-called “haters” and his own company, Tesla. Critics are afraid he’ll silence them on a previously free platform just because they disagree with his views — after all, he’s known for blocking and restricting people from his personal account. In the past, Twitter’s board planned to use a poison pill on Musk (the shareholder rights agreement), which would let other shareholders acquire more stock than the billionaire, thus minimizing his holdings. It was also unclear how Musk would pay that much for the deal. While he’s the richest person in the world, most of his wealth is in Tesla stock, making it illogical for Musk himself to buy the company.
However, it was revealed that he received commitments for $46.5 billion as financial help for the Twitter deal per his Securities and Exchange Commission filing, including $25.5 billion in debt financing from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and other firms. Furthermore, he has considered purchasing Twitter shares from shareholders.
Why Twitter? The reason is simple — Musk loves using that platform. He’s known for sharing memes and controversial takes on his personal profile. At the TED2022 conference, he explained that the platform would drastically change in his hands. “I think it’s very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech,” he said at the time.