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Elon Musk completes acquisition of Twitter

By | Published on Friday 28 October 2022

Elon Musk

Despite his best efforts to back out of the deal, Elon Musk is now the owner of Twitter. Confirming reports that he had now completed his $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform, he tweeted last night “the bird is freed” and changed his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit”.

In April, Musk became the biggest shareholder in the social media platform and then announced that he had agreed his multi-billion dollar deal to acquire it – saying that he wanted “civilisation to have a common digital town square”. However, he subsequently tried to back out of the deal in a dispute over the number of fake accounts on the website.

That dispute went to court, though the takeover talks then resumed. Now that a deal has gone through, trading in the company’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange has been suspended and a number of senior execs at Twitter – including CEO Parag Agrawal – have also been fired.

Many fear what will now happen to Twitter with Musk – who has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” – in charge. The Tesla founder has been critical of Twitter’s content moderation policies in the past, which he considers to be too draconian, and it’s thought that previously suspended accounts, such as those of Donald Trump and Kanye West, may now be allowed to return.

Trump and West both reacted to being booted off the platform by attempting to compete with Twitter. Trump launch his own social media network, Truth Social, a year ago. Meanwhile, West recently announced that he had agreed to acquire rightwing social website Parler.

If they are allowed to return to Twitter, it remains to be seen if either Trump or West choose to do so, and if they then deem their other websites surplus to requirements.