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Twitter accepts $44 billion takeover bid from Elon Musk – TechCrunch

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is infamous for using Twitter to tease and untangle various ideas he has about his business interests, cryptocurrency, politics and life in general, but today it seems that he succeeds in one of his greatest reflections. Twitter announced that it had accepted Musk’s offer to acquire the publicly traded company at $54.20/share, valuing the social media platform at $44 billion.

Moments after the announcement of the shutdown on Twitter, the company issued a press release confirming that it accepted Musk’s offer to make the social network private.

“Twitter’s board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to evaluate Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty and funding,” said the independent chairman of the board. Twitter, Bret Taylor, on the deal. “The proposed transaction will provide a substantial cash bonus, and we believe it is the best way forward for Twitter shareholders.”

In the press release, Musk repeated his refrain that “freedom of speech” is key to Twitter’s future, though most of his ideas for how to optimize the social network, including the he addition of new products, the fight against spam and the opening of its algorithms, are things that the company was already doing before its dramatic intervention.

“Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where issues vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots and authenticating all humans. Twitter has huge potential – I can’t wait to work with the company and the user community to unlock it.

From Musk’s statement, it’s unclear what exactly he means by “authenticate all humans” – is it just the ongoing work to rid the platform of spambots or a new stance more strict on automated non-human accounts? If the latter, it would certainly change the flavor of Twitter as a social platform that has long been home to useful and sometimes delicious bot accounts.

Twitter says the transaction, which was unanimously approved by the board, will likely close this year following shareholder and regulatory approvals and “the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.” Until those issues are resolved, it’s not a done deal.

The news comes after strategically placed reports overnight that Twitter – contrary to previous poison pill statements that it would prefer Musk’s acquisition – was welcoming the offer.

The Twitter/Musk acquisition dance was pretty short, especially considering the size of the deal: It started less than a month ago, when Musk first took to Twitter to making a lot of pointed comments on social media and Twitter itself and what it is. didn’t go well, only for Twitter to reveal on April 4 that Musk had in fact taken a hefty $3 billion stake – roughly 9.2% of the company’s stock.

A musk-shaped seat on the board soon followed before being removed. Shareholders were annoyed with Musk and sued him for what they believed was obvious stock price manipulation.

And Musk? Musk doubled down and said he actually would rather just buy the whole fucking rig. It was April 14.

The board faltered and the poison pill made a viral interlude in the world of corporate tech news.

But Musk, currently the richest individual in the world on paper, just insisted, explained how he would fund such a deal, and suddenly everyone started taking him seriously. Money always talks.

Overnight – last night – leaks started flowing on Twitter considering the deal after all.

The news is sure to shock a lot of people — Musk tends to polarize, as does Twitter, so it’s basically a no-brainer.

And so it will be interesting to see what that means on Twitter as a business. It will also be worth watching to understand what Musk’s agenda or intent may be. Moguls buying media properties aren’t exactly new – we’d say it’s the next (big) step in the same trajectory that includes yachts and other iconic assets.

Musk, however, has been a veteran Twitter user for a long time, which means he’s likely to approach this as more than an investor vanity game or a purely financial game. He has ideas. And even if you don’t like him, you have to admit he’s smart. He may be intent on turning Twitter into a bigger, more profitable business. Or, he may have already decided that Twitter is much more fun as an expensive toy and leverage to stimulate other interests (which is, for all intents and purposes, the only thing we have evidence of him using. Twitter so far).

Either way, if he succeeds, he will now have a spokesperson he can control as he sees fit.

We’ll update this post as we learn more.

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