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Elon Musk Completes Deal to Purchase Twitter [UPDATED]

Musk has purchased the social media platform for $44 billion

Elon Musk Twitter
Elon Musk, photo by Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP
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    Elon Musk has reached an agreement to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.

    The 50-year-old billionaire launched a hostile takeover of Twitter earlier this month, offering to purchase the social media company for a “best and final” offer of $54.20 a share (or roughly $44 billion). Prior to his takeover attempt, Musk had quietly purchased a 9.2% stake over the last several months.

    While Twitter’s board initially sought to stave off Musk’s efforts by deploying a poison pill shareholder rights plan, the board began to take his offer seriously after he secured financing for the deal, according to the New York Times. The two sides spent the weekend negotiating the terms of the sale, including a timeline to close the deal and fees that would be paid if the deal fell through at the 11th hour.

    In a press releasing announcing the transaction, Twitter chairman Bret Taylor said the company’s board “conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

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    In his own statement, Musk said, “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. I also wanted to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to create 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.”

    In a tweet posted hours before the deal was finalized, Musk wrote, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”

    Musk, who describes himself as a free speech maximalist, was seemingly inspired to purchase Twitter in the wake of the platform’s decision to censor extremist voices and misinformation  — particularly as it related to the pandemic and 2020 presidential election. A prolific tweeter, Musk has also advocated for features such as an “edit” button, longer character limits, and an open-source algorithm.

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    The deal is still subject to the approval of Twitter’s stockholders, and will likely face review from regulators at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department, according to the Washington Post. As such, it likely will be several months until Musk assumes total control of Twitter — and take the company private.

     

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