Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has been approved by the board of directors of the social media network. A masterful performance by the American billionaire, who ushers in a new age for his favourite platform.
It’s official: Elon Musk has taken over as the new owner of Twitter. The arrangement with the social network’s board of directors was completed in less than ten days by the American billionaire. The board of directors unanimously accepted the buyout bid from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on April 25. Elon Musk will pay $54.20 per share, valuing the American company at around $44 billion. The deal is expected to close within the next six months.
Elon Musk achieved this achievement by surreptitiously purchasing a 9.2% interest in the capital of the company created by Jack Dorsey for roughly $3 billion. It wasn’t until the beginning of April that this information was made public. The billionaire polled his Twitter followers on the social media platform’s free speech policy, even asking if users wanted an edit option.
As a result, his followers concluded that Twitter was destructive to freedom of expression. In light of the findings of these surveys, Elon Musk felt that a new social network based on an open-source algorithm and guaranteeing freedom of expression was required. He took this decision after laying the groundwork for his strategy to take control of the social media network.
On April 4, it was disclosed that Elon Musk had become Twitter’s largest shareholder, which hastened the sequence of events. The billionaire launched his raid to buy the social network in its entirety ten days later. The Twitter board of directors moved quickly to stop the hostile takeover bid by activating a “poison pill” measure to fend off the Tesla owner’s hostile takeover bid. To make the merger materialise, Musk obtained a $46.5 billion financing package. Then he met with a number of shareholders to defend the company’s takeover bid.
Elon Musk’s plan won over the majority of shareholders, putting pressure on the Californian company’s board of directors. On April 24, the latter began conversations with Elon Musk, before agreeing to sell the microblogging service to the billionaire just 24 hours later.
With this takeover, the social network gains a new page. Elon Musk has “committed to addressing free speech issues” on the platform, so its future is doubtful. Employees had conflicting opinions about the transaction when it was announced internally. Given the billionaire’s pledge of increased transparency on how the recommendation algorithm works, some believe that Twitter, as a private company, has a better chance of improving its service than a publicly traded firm that is answerable to its shareholders.
Others, on the other hand, who get part of their pay in stock aren’t sure about the benefits of the operation.
According to reports in the American press, Twitter’s general manager, Parag Agrawal, will quit the company after the deal is completed. Meanwhile, the latter assured his employees that there would be no immediate layoffs but declined to comment on the possibility of a hiring freeze. Nonetheless, Twitter employees’ anxieties are justified in the current environment, especially since Elon Musk is frequently accused of creating a toxic working environment in his Tesla factories and of putting undue weight on its employees’ shoulders.
The improvements proposed by the billionaire should turn the platform into a haven for those who respect freedom of expression. While this notion appears admirable on the surface, it creates a number of difficulties.
The stakes are even higher now that the United States’ midterm elections are only six months away. Twitter is one of the most popular forums for political campaigning, which inevitably leads to abuse. The microblogging site, along with other platforms such as Facebook and Reddit, is being investigated by American authorities for its role in the attack on the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021.
Supporters of Donald Trump had descended on the Capitol that day after being encouraged to do so by the former President, who was continually challenging the results of the presidential election in his tweets.
After this shocking event, Trump was kicked off of his favourite social media platform. Despite Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, where he spoke out against the deleting of accounts like Donald Trump’s, the former US president has stated that he will not return to the platform. He wants to remain on his Truth Social network, which he started in February of this year.
Some people think that more freedom of expression could bring back harmful conspiracy theories and comments that make people more divided in the United States and around the world.
In the coming years, Twitter will be controlled by the world’s richest person, who has also been a vocal critic of the platform, while also utilising it in legally controversial ways, primarily through sensitive messages about his car business, Tesla.
Twitter’s shares will be delisted and the company will be taken private as part of the takeover. Musk claims that this will allow him to make the changes he wants to the company.
Despite its popularity, Twitter has never made a profit, and user growth has stagnated, notably in the United States.
The company, founded in 2004, finished 2021 with $5 billion in revenue and 217 million daily users worldwide-a fraction of the figures reported by competing platforms, such as Facebook.