After months of nonsense, lawsuits, verbal slander, and almost ending up with a full trial, Elon Musk Now he owns Twitter.
Three people familiar with the situation said that Musk closed Thursday night his $44 billion deal to buy the social media service. He has also begun cleaning the house, as at least four of Twitter’s top executives – including the CEO and CFO – were fired on Thursday. Mr. Musk arrived at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday and met with engineers and advertising executives.
The conclusion of the deal followed months of drama and Legal Challenges like Mr. Musk changed his mind About buying the company, it puts Twitter on an uncertain path. Mr Musk, who described himself as the “absolute of free speech,” said he wanted to make the social media platform a more free place for all kinds of comments and that he would.Reverse permanent banFormer President Donald J. Trump is out of service.
Mr. Musk’s open approach to speaking on Twitter may exacerbate long-standing issues of toxic content and disinformation, affecting political debates around the world. Early tests will come in a matter of days, when Brazil elects its president and American voters go to the polls on November 8 for the election. midterm elections. Twitter said it would ban misleading claims about voting and election results, but that was before Mr. Musk had them.
“There may be real consequences for his leadership,” David Kaye, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, who has worked with the United Nations on freedom of expression issues, said of Mr. Musk’s ownership of Twitter. “To the extent that world leaders see that they have this space and that it is unsupervised, they can push to see how far they can go.”
The acquisition was celebrated by some Republicans, who argued that Twitter censored conservative views. The researchers said Twitter’s rules are necessary to counter hate speech and misinformation online. Some advertisers are concerned about allowing their brands to appear alongside controversial tweets.
It’s a return to the ‘Back to the Future’ content rules around 2010, but it ignores live experience over the past decade,” said Colin Crowell, Twitter’s former head of global public policy, who left the company in 2019. . “People are finally realizing that the Wild West needs a sheriff, both to ensure the safety of citizens but also to enhance the prospects for trade.”
Mr. Musk also promised other drastic changes to Twitter, including new leadership, job cuts, and the pursuit of new ways to make money. Twitter, which is based in San Francisco and employs more than 7,500 people, has struggled to grow its ad-based business and constantly attract new users. Thursday’s firing of the company’s top executives was a sign that Musk intends to move quickly.
Mr. Musk, 51, will reshape Twitter without having to reveal how it has performed every few months. By making the company private, he does not need to respond regularly to shareholders and can make changes to the service away from the prying eyes of the public.
Musk, who also runs electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, did not respond to a request for comment.
Completing the deal was a victory for Twitter’s board of directors. When Mr. Musk agreed to pay $54.20 per share to the company In April, Twitter faced criticism for accepting a price that was too low. But as the global economy faltered in the following months and Twitter’s stock plummeted, the price of the deal appeared to be a win-win for shareholders, and the board sought to force Mr. Musk to stick to the agreement.
A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Among the Twitter executives dismissed on Thursday were Parag Agrawal, CEO; Ned Segal, Chief Financial Officer; Vijaya Jade, Chief Legal and Policy Executive; Two people with knowledge of the matter said Shaun Edgett, general counsel. They said that at least one of the fired executives was escorted out of Twitter’s office.
He started Mr. Musk, who is one of the most active Twitter users with over 109 million followers Accumulation of shares in the company this year. In April, he struck a deal to buy the company for $44 billion, and said it would lift Twitter’s content modification policies, eliminate spam, add new features and provide more transparency about the algorithms used to promote content.
“Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the user community to unlock it,” he said in a statement in April.
But within weeks, he began to question the deal. Mr. Musk criticized Twitter executives responsible for content decisions and accused the company of failing to accurately account for spam accounts on its platform. When Parag AgrawalThe CEO of Twitter tried to refute Musk’s allegations, and Musk responded by tweeting a stool emoji.
By July, Mr. Musk decided he no longer wanted to own Twitter, arguing that he had been misled about the amount of spam on the platform. He announced his intention to abandon the acquisition.
Twitter has sued Musk to force him to implement the agreement. The company accused Mr. Musk of trying to back out of the deal because the downturn caused his personal wealth to plummet. Mr. Musk personally agreed to provide about $33 billion of the $44 billion deal.
The lawsuit ended in Delaware Chancery Court, which listens to many corporate issues. The court set a five-day trial in mid-October to hear the case.
But after days of testimonies and unconfirmed results, Mr. Musk has reconsidered. he tried negotiating discount on the transaction price. Those discussions were unsuccessful. This month, Mr. Musk said he would proceed with the acquisition at the original price if Twitter stopped its legal battle against it.
The judge overseeing Twitter’s lawsuit agreed to adjourn the case until October 28, giving Mr Musk three weeks to close the deal.
Mr. Musk set some ambitious goals for Twitter, which he said he would turn into “Apply everything” is called X. At investor presentations about the deal this spring, he said he expects Twitter to arrive Annual revenue of $26.4 billion It has 931 million users by 2028. The company recorded revenue of $5.08 billion last year and had more than 200 million users.
Mr. Musk suggested that cuts may be necessary to reduce Twitter’s costs. Many company employees could face layoffs. In recent days, Twitter has tried to calm its workforce, asking them to ignore reports of possible layoffs.
Twitter’s performance will be vital as Mr Musk balances investing in the company’s future and paying interest on the $12.5 billion loans he took to fund the deal. Analysts questioned Whether Twitter can bear the burden of these payments given her intermittent earnings.
These loans will also be a pain point for the investment banks that have pooled them together, as a market for such loans fell sharply Since Mr. Musk announced his offer in April.
Advertisers may also be wary of doing business with Mr Musk after he denounced the use of ads on Twitter and said the company should find a different source of revenue. Some advertisers were also skeptical about their brands appearing alongside risky content that Mr Musk said should be allowed on Twitter, while others preferred to spend money on social networks like Facebook and TikTok.
On Thursday, Mr. Musk sought to allay advertisers’ concerns with a dossier of open letter This suggests that some content moderation will continue.
He wrote: “It is clear that Twitter cannot become a free-for-all place, where anything can be said without consequences.” Twitter aspires to be the world’s most respected advertising platform.