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Elon Musk Officially Closes Twitter Deal, Fires Top Executives

Musk has promised not to turn Twitter into a " free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!"

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Elon Musk, photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage

    After much deliberation and legal back-and-forth, Elon Musk has officially finalized his purchase of Twitter. He closed the $44 billion deal late on Thursday, October 27th.

    Per The Washington Post, one of Musk’s first moves was firing top Twitter executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety. The company’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, was also let go.

    “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk wrote on Twitter prior to formalizing the deal. “I didn’t do it to make money. I did it to help humanity, whom I love.”

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    Twitter first accepted Musk’s original offer to buy Twitter back in April, but the Tesla CEO threatened to back out of the deal just weeks later, accusing the platform of misleading or lying to investors about its number of daily active users and saying that the deal “cannot move forward” until Twitter proved that less than 5% of users are bots or spam accounts.

    Musk formally sought to to cancel the deal in July, writing in a letter to the SEC, “Mr. Musk is terminating the Merger Agreement because Twitter… appears to have made false and misleading representations upon which Mr. Musk relied when entering into the Merger Agreement.” Four days later, Twitter responded with a lawsuit, writing, “Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.”

    But legal observers cast doubt on Musk’s ability to break the purchase agreement, and the deal included a $1 billion poison pill. Faced with growing legal bills and the threat of a deposition, Musk expressed his renewed interest to purchase the social media giant on October 3rd. He met with Twitter representatives in court the following day, where he agreed to buy Twitter at his original proposed price of $54.20 per share, or about $44 billion total.

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    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. Though he said he would allow Donald Trump back onto the platform, Musk also promised that Twitter would not turn into a “free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”

    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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