It’s for true this time. After months of legal drama, terrible memes, and will-they-or-will not-they-chaos to place your favored rom-com to shame, Elon Musk has closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. A quantity of outlets reported that Musk sealed the deal Thursday evening, taking Twitter private and ousting a handful of leading executives — CEO Parag Agrawal integrated — in the approach.
Musk reportedly cleaned home on Thursday, firing CFO Ned Segal, Head of Legal, Policy, and Trust Vijaya Gadde and General Counsel Sean Edgett appropriate out of the gate. Though it is nevertheless an aggressive and abrupt day a single move, Agrawal was inevitable provided his effectively-documented clashes and a failed virtual meeting with Musk. It’s also no surprise that Gadde was amongst the initially to go. Musk previously singled the leading policy executive out with accusations of “left wing bias” more than her function in politically-charged choice generating at the corporation, driving a wave of racist hate and harassment her way.
The road to take Twitter private has been a rocky a single. Musk initially started flirting with the concept of owning Twitter in early April, when he purchased 9.two% of the corporation for $three billion. But he didn’t cease there. Less than ten fateful days later, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO declared his intent to obtain Twitter for $44 billion. Twitter accepted, but Musk quickly 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 stick to by way of soon after all.
It’s not promptly clear why Musk backtracked, agreeing to obtain Twitter soon after all. It’s doable that Musk and his legal group study the tea leaves on their coming trial, which was initially set to start on October 17. Twitter sued Musk more than the summer season to force the Tesla and SpaceX CEO to stick to by way of with the deal. Musk countersued Twitter in response, generating unfounded claims that the corporation mislead him about the quantity of automated accounts on the platform — a quantity that is important for advertisers and brands who want human eyeballs on their paid advertisements.
As litigation among Musk and Twitter ramped up, Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen McCormick produced it clear that she wasn’t right here to humor Musk’s erratic shenanigans. In early October when Musk announced, once again, that he would obtain Twitter if he could kill the upcoming trial, Judge McCormick only agreed if Musk could close the deal by Friday, October 28. If he had missed the deadline, we’d all be searching at a fresh Musk/Twitter trial date set for November.
On this, the initially day that Elon Musk officially owns Twitter, it is also not clear what path Musk plans to take the platform. The chaotic and normally contradictory billionaire has in the previous promised to restore former President Trump’s account, rid the platform of all automated bots, which personally bother him as a single of the most followed customers on the platform (superior luck), and touted Twitter’s prospective as a neutral ground square and a counterbalance to his complaints about classic media outlets, which at occasions do not report on his goings-on favorably.
In reality, Twitter is a struggling however extremely prominent platform, a single exactly where heads of state and hardcore porn frequently intermix and a single that, soon after a extended phase of stagnation, had ultimately begun to introduce improvements to its solutions and policies. It remains to be observed if Musk will turn back the clock on these experiments or see some by way of even though claiming to reinvent the wheel (monetizing creators, undoubtedly an original concept!), but it is tough to envision how he can achieve any of his objectives even though potentially gutting the company’s workforce. Musk’s denial of reports that he plans to reduce 75% of Twitter’s employees is far from reassuring contemplating that laying off a third or half of workers would nevertheless price thousands of workers their jobs.
Musk has also talked a significant game about turning back Twitter’s moderation and platform security efforts, but he seemed to all of a sudden comprehend how this may 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 absolutely free-for-all hellscape.
We do not know what the future has in shop for a single of the world’s largest social networks but we do know that Musk has achieved what as soon as was unthinkable, taking handle of Twitter for $44 billion. But the conclusion to the monthslong saga is just the starting of a new chapter of uncertainty at Twitter, raising a million inquiries about what the platform is truly worth, what it is for and what, specifically, he plans to do with it.
This story is developing…