Elon Musk has formed a deal with Twitter to acquire the social media company for $54.20 per share, about $44 billion, the organization announced on April 25. As a result, Twitter will become a privately held company.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” the Tesla CEO said in a press release. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential–I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
The news comes less than two weeks after Musk offered to purchase the social media company for $54.20 per share. In a letter to Chairman of Twitter’s board Bret Taylor that was shared in an April 13 Security and Exchange Commission filing, Musk, who’d already owned 9.2 percent of Twitter stock, noted it was his “best and final” offer.
“Twitter has extraordinary potential,” he wrote at the time. “I will unlock it.”
“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” Taylor said in the press release. “The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
Musk, who has 83.3 million Twitter followers, has already listed changes he’d like to make to the platform. “If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying,” he tweeted on April 21, adding, “and authenticate all real humans.” During an April 14 discussion at TED2022 in Vancouver, B.C., Musk also said he thinks Twitter should open source its algorithm and have any changes to a tweet, such as promotion or demotion, be “made apparent so anyone can see that an action’s been taken.”
So why did he want to buy Twitter in the first place? “I think it’s very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech,” he said during the conference. “Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s just really important that people have both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law.”