Elon Musk officially owns Twitter

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©  Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images (collage by TechCrunch)

This time it’s true. After months of legal dramas, bad memes and whether you’d like to eclipse your favorite romantic comedy, Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion Twitter acquisition. Musk finalized the deal Thursday night, taking Twitter private and ousting a handful of executives including CEO Parag Agrawal in the process.

Musk reportedly cleaned the house on Thursday and fired CFO Ned Segal, head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde and general counsel Sean Edgett on the spot. While it was still a radical and sudden move on day one, Agrawal was inevitable given his well-documented conflict and failed virtual meeting with Musk. Not surprisingly, Gard was one of the first to leave, despite being a well-respected figure at the company. Musk has previously tweeted about her role in policymaking with “left-wing bias”, sparking a wave of racial hatred and harassment against her.

The road to taking Twitter private has been bumpy. Musk’s idea of ​​owning Twitter started when he bought a 9.2% stake in the company for $3 billion in early April. But he didn’t persevere. Less than ten days later, the CEOs of Tesla and SpaceX announced their intention to acquire Twitter for $44 billion. Twitter accepted, but Musk quickly backed off, doing his best to back out of the deal, taking the parties to the Delaware Chancery Court. After enduring some embarrassing pretrial discoveries and facing a swiftly approaching testimonial date, Musk announced he would be done with it.

It is unclear why Musk gave up and eventually agreed to buy Twitter. It’s possible that Musk and his legal team read tea leaves about their upcoming trial, which begins on October 17. Twitter sued Musk over the summer, forcing the CEOs of Tesla and SpaceX to close the deal. In response, Musk countered Twitter, baselessly claiming that the company had misled him about the number of automated accounts on the platform — a number critical to advertisers and brands who want people to see their paid ads .

As the legal battle between Musk and Twitter intensified, Delaware Chancery Judge Kathryn McCormick made it clear she wasn’t here to please Musk’s unpredictable shenanigans. When Musk announced again in early October that he would acquire Twitter if he could complete the upcoming trial, Judge McCormick only agreed that Musk would be able to close the deal by Friday, Oct. 28. If he misses the deadline, we’ll all be looking at the new Musk/Twitter test date set in November.

On this day, the first day Elon Musk officially owns Twitter, it’s unclear where Musk intends to take the platform. The chaotic and often contradictory billionaire has pledged in the past to restore former President Trump’s account and rid the platform of all the automated bots that annoy him personally, as he is one of the platform’s most-followed users (good luck). Good luck), while Twitter’s potential has been touted as a neutral place and counteracts his complaints about traditional media, which sometimes don’t report his actions head-on.

In fact, Twitter, a struggling but incredibly prominent platform where heads of state and porn often mingle, is finally rolling out improvements to its products and policies after a long hiatus. It remains to be seen whether Musk will reverse course in these experiments, or see through some of them while claiming to be reinventing the wheel (monetizing inventors is an original idea of ​​course!), but it’s hard to imagine how he would Achieving his goal of doing so could lead to potential layoffs of the company’s employees. Musk’s denial of reports that he plans to lay off 75 percent of Twitter’s workforce is far from reassuring, considering that laying off a third or half of the workforce would still cost thousands of employees their jobs.

Musk also talked about the big drama about rolling back Twitter’s auditing and platform security efforts, but he seemed to realize suddenly that it would make advertisers extremely nervous and released a letter on Thursday to reassure them. “Of course Twitter can’t be a hell where anything can be said without consequences!” he wrote, rolling back his promise to make Twitter a free hell for all.

We don’t know what the future holds for one of the world’s largest social networks, but we do know that Musk has achieved what was once unimaginable and took control of Twitter for $44 billion. But the end of the months-long saga is just the beginning of a new chapter in Twitter’s uncertainty, which has raised a million questions about the platform’s value, what it’s for and what he intends to do with it.


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