It’s finally done. Finished. Complete. There’s no going back now.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, now officially owns Twitter. The deal closed at the original agreed upon price of $44 billion, or $54.20 per share.
The billionaire was able to secure $12.5 billion in loans from the banks for his acquisition. Other investors, such as Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, pitched in an additional $7.1 billion. It’s unclear how much more Musk was able to wrangle from outside investors and just how much of his Tesla stock holdings he had to sell off to make up the rest.
Musk had until 5pm ET on Friday to close the deal or head to court. It was very likely Musk would have been forced to complete the deal in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Going the original route saves Musk from additional costs and headaches, like even more embarrassing text messages being released as part of the proceedings such as the ones that showed he has some terrible ideas for how to run a social media platform.
Elon Musk himself is a Twitter power user, regularly tweeting on the platform where he has amassed nearly 110 million followers. However, the billionaire first seriously showed interest in ownership of Twitter when he started acquiring large amounts of Twitter stock in March 2022. The billionaire was quite vocal during that time period about what he didn’t like about the platform. He criticized the amount of spam, the lack of certain features like an edit button, and content moderation policies on the platform. Musk contemplated joining the Twitter board of directors in early April before ultimately deciding to turn the opportunity down and make an offer to buy the platform outright later that month.
Buyers’ remorse seemed to set in almost immediately after Musk agreed to acquire the platform. By July, he was looking to officially back out of the deal. Musk claimed he had an out because he had not been informed of the severity of fake accounts and spam on the platform. However, that claim was always dubious as Musk often cited that fixing these issues were reasons he wanted to acquire the platform to begin with. But, more importantly, Musk had no such opt-out option. He has officially signed an iron clad contract with Twitter to acquire the company.
And now here we are. Elon Musk owns Twitter. But, while one saga ends, a new story just begins.
Musk starts out heading the social media company with an already tumultuous relationship with Twitter’s employees. Musk has already butted heads with Twitter executives on a public forum. It was just a few months ago that Elon Musk targeted Twitter’s legal head Vijaya Gadde, which led to her harassment by users on the very platform she worked for. Per reports by the New York Times and CNBC, Musk has now fired Gadde, along with general counsel Sean Edgett, CEO Parag Agrawal, and CFO Ned Segal.
The billionaire just recently claimed he would fire 75 percent of the company’s staff once he took the reins. While there is a good case to be made that Musk actually won’t do that – he has a long history of saying things he doesn’t deliver on – Twitter employees aren’t taking any chances while their livelihoods hang in the balance.
Twitter staff has already penned an open letter to their new boss explaining how detrimental it would be to conversation on the platform to lose so many employees. Twitter’s employees also had a more basic request too.
“We demand transparent, prompt and thoughtful communication around our working conditions,” reads the letter. “We demand to be treated with dignity, and to not be treated as mere pawns in a game played by billionaires.”
Then there’s the question of what happens from a user standpoint. Those aforementioned Musk text messages showed little to no understanding of how to run a social media platform. One idea from Musk was to have users pay to put their tweets on a blockchain as a sort of verification method to prove they were real, for example.
Another question addresses another part of Twitter that Musk had a problem with and that was content moderation. Musk has already said he would bring back President Donald Trump to the platform. Trump was banned after continuing to stoke tensions while a pro-Trump mob rioted at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. What other suspensions would he reverse?
For now, Twitter will likely remain as is for its users. Musk already overpaid for the platform and he has a good deal to lose if he tanks it.
Read More on this acquisition.