On Monday, Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) for $44 billion in cash, transferring ownership of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world’s richest person.
It is a watershed moment for the 16-year-old corporation, which has emerged as one of the world’s most influential public squares but is now facing many obstacles.
Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist,” has blasted Twitter’s censorship. He wants Twitter’s mechanism for sorting tweets to be made public, and he opposes giving firms that advertise too much sway over the service. Political activists anticipate that a Musk administration will be less moderate and allow previously barred individuals to re-enter the country, like former President Donald Trump. Conservatives applauded the idea of fewer limitations, but some human rights campaigners expressed concern about an increase in hate speech.
Musk has also lobbied for user-friendly changes to the site, such as adding an edit button and the defeat of “spambots,” which send massive numbers of unwelcome tweets.
Under pressure, Twitter began negotiating with Musk to buy the firm for $54.20 per share. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey weighed in on the deal late Monday with tweets thanking Musk and new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal for “pulling the company out of an impossible predicament.” Wall Street and the advertising model have owned it. “Taking it back from Wall Street is the proper first step,” he stated.
On Monday, Twitter’s stock surged 5.7 percent to $51.70. The transaction reflects an almost 40% premium to the closing price the day before Musk revealed he had purchased a more than 9% share. Musk’s decision follows other billionaires who have bought control of major media platforms, such as Jeff Bezos’ 2013 purchase of the Washington Post.
Musk has obtained $25.5 billion in debt and margin loan funding and a $21 billion equity commitment, according to Twitter.
According to Forbes, Musk is worth $268 billion and has stated that he is not particularly concerned with Twitter’s finances.
Musk is the CEO of both Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) Inc and SpaceX, and it is unclear how much time he will commit to Twitter or what he will do. Nonetheless, Musk’s 84 million-strong Twitter following is an essential, free public relations and marketing tool for Tesla. However, it is only roughly a tenth the size of significantly more prominent social media platforms such as Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook (NASDAQ: FB); Twitter, with helped to spark the Arab Spring revolt and is suspected of playing a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault of the United States Capitol. The White House declined to comment on Musk’s deal on Monday, although President Joe Biden has long been concerned about social media companies’ dominance.