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🔔 For Whom The Bell Tweets
It's official: the world's richest man, Elon Musk, now owns Twitter. What began with a 9% purchase of the company in April, then quickly became a bid for the whole enchilada, quickly devolved into a PR and legal mess. As recently the beginning of this month, Musk and the social media platform were locked in a lawsuit over the billionaire's decision to pull out of the deal — a lawsuit that was no doubt set to rack up enormous legal fees. Then, in an unexpected reversal a few days before he was to be deposed, Musk announced the deal was back on. He closed on the acquisition last week.
It was a wild ride for shareholders: Twitter's share price as of close on April 1 was $39.31. Over the next few months, it bounced around between $32.65 and the low 50s. Musk closed the deal at $54.20 a share, and Twitter has since been delisted from the NYSE, reports Business Insider.
Before the deal even closed, rumors began to swirl that a 70% cut to staff was coming. That staggering figure hasn't materialized, but, according to the Washington Post, plans to cut 25% of the workforce are underway, and both CEO and CFO have been sacked.
Winter of Our Dis-content
Elon Musk has long been crusading for freedom of speech, but his version of how that looks has come under increasing scrutiny. Even more so now that he privately owns Twitter. “There could be real-world consequences to his leadership,” David Kaye, a law professor at UCI, told The New York Times. “To the extent that world leaders see they have this space and it’s unmoderated, they could push to see how far they can go.” Musk has repeatedly said that he would reverse Donald Trump's ban from the platform, and one report shows the use of the N-word on the app has already spiked 500%, writes the Washington Post. Musk, for his part, seems to be proposing a content moderation panel similar to what Facebook/Meta already uses.
Yes, the deal is done and Musk finally owns Twitter. But it seems that is only the end of Phase 1 of this story. What is Musk going to do with Twitter? Will fired executives come back to sue? We’ll just have to stay tuned.