Elon Musk on Monday entered into an agreement to buy Twitter for around 44 billion dollars, and created the largest agreement to take a company private for at least two decades.
The investigation is likely to be intense. Twitter is not the largest social platform – it has more than 217 million daily users, compared to billions for Facebook and Instagram – but it has played a major role in shaping stories around the world. Political leaders have turned it into a megaphone, while companies, celebrities and others have used it to refine photos and make money.
Mr. Musk’s takeover raised concerns that the world’s richest person had control of an influential communications platform. A director of a women’s rights organization called it “a massively slippery slope.”
Twitter’s board has already unanimously approved the agreement. Here’s the following for Twitter:
The shareholders will vote if they want to accept the agreement. It will also be considered by regulators, but it is unlikely that they will seriously challenge the transaction, said former antitrust authorities, since the government most often intervenes to stop a deal when a company buys a competitor.
It is expected to take three to six months before the agreement is terminated, according to Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal. He told Twitter employees that he would remain in his role at least until the agreement is concluded, according to two people who attended a meeting with all hands and were not authorized to speak in public. He also encouraged employees to “run Twitter like we always have.”
Mr. Musk has repeatedly said he wants to “transform” the platform by promoting more freedom of speech and giving users more control over what they see on it. On Monday, he said he would focus on “new features, which make the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeat spammers and authenticate all people”.
Managers tried to reassure employees that they would not be shortened by Mr. Musk’s acquisition. Mr. Agrawal told them that their stock options would be converted into cash when the agreement with Mr. Musk was terminated. Employees will receive the same benefit packages for one year after the agreement was terminated, and there were no immediate plans for redundancies, he added.
Conservatives, who feel they have been unnecessarily silenced by social media platforms, cheered on the news of Mr. Musk’s deal. Mr. Agrawal was asked by staff whether former President Donald J. Trump, who was banned from service after the January 6 uprising at the Capitol, would be reinstated. Mr. Agrawal postponed, leaving the question to Mr. Musk to answer when he takes over the company. For Mr. Trump’s part, he told Fox News on Monday that he would stick to posting on his own social network, Truth Social.