Elon Musk Finally bought Twitter for $44 billion
Elon Musk has finally closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. A number of outlets reported that Musk sealed the deal Thursday night , according to a source. He immediately fired key executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, in a clear sign that he wants to overhaul the social media company. Twitter’s chief financial officer, top lawyer, and head of public policy were also dismissed.
A day earlier, Musk had renamed himself “Chief Twit” on his Twitter bio page. Musk has vowed to overhaul Twitter’s business model, take it private and loosen rules against harassment, abuse and misleading claims.
Musk and Twitter had been locked in a months-long legal battle after he got cold feet about going through with the deal. But just days before they were set to go to trial, Musk surprised everyone by saying he’d buy Twitter after all.
The road to take Twitter private has been a rocky one. Musk first began flirting with the idea of owning Twitter in early April, when he bought 9.2% of the company for $3 billion. But he didn’t stop there. Less than ten fateful days later, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO declared his intent to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Twitter accepted, but Musk soon got cold feet and pulled out all the stops to get out of the deal, landing the parties in the Delaware Court of Chancery. After enduring some embarrassing pre-trial discovery and facing a swiftly approaching date for his deposition, Musk announced that he would follow through after all.
It’s not immediately clear why Musk backtracked, agreeing to buy Twitter after all. It’s possible that Musk and his legal team read the tea leaves on their coming trial, which was originally set to begin on October 17. Twitter sued Musk over the summer to force the Tesla and SpaceX CEO to follow through with the deal.
Musk countersued Twitter in response, making unfounded claims that the company mislead him about the number of automated accounts on the platform — a number that is critical for advertisers and brands who want human eyeballs on their paid ads.
Musk has also talked a big game about turning back Twitter’s moderation and platform safety efforts, but he seemed to suddenly realize how this might make advertisers intensely skittish, publishing a letter reassuring them on Thursday. “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” he wrote, backtracking on his promises to make Twitter a free-for-all hellscape.