Elon Musk Visits Twitter Headquarters as Deadline Looms
Elon Musk visited Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters Wednesday because the deadline looms for him to finish a $44 billion acquisition of the corporate. Musk tweeted a video of himself carrying what gave the impression to be a rest room sink into the constructing with the caption “let that sink in!”
The world’s richest man, who appeared to have modified his profile bio on the platform to “Chief Twit” on Wednesday, has till 5pm E.T. on Friday to finish the takeover deal, or be pressured to defend himself in courtroom in opposition to authorized motion from Twitter.
If the deal closes this week, it will imply the tip of an on-again off-again saga that has captivated the tech world. However it will doubtless be simply the beginning of a interval of sweeping change inside Twitter, which might have big ramifications all over the world.
What Musk will do on the helm of the corporate stays shrouded in thriller. He’s broadly predicted to preside over a loosening of Twitter’s guidelines and mass cost-cutting. He has flirted with Republican speaking factors, railing in opposition to Twitter’s “left-wing” employees, calling for extra “free speech” on the platform, and suggesting he’ll finish former President Donald Trump’s everlasting ban – probably even in time for the November midterm elections.
A report that Musk deliberate to chop prices by firing as a lot as 75% of the corporate’s employees prompted inside pushback within the type of an open letter on Monday. “We demand to be handled with dignity, and to not be handled as mere pawns in a sport performed by billionaires,” the letter stated.
Learn Extra: Unique: Twitter Workers Protest Elon Musk’s Plan to Hearth 75% of Workforce
However it’s tough to inform how severe even the broad, recognized outlines of Musk’s plan for Twitter are. The Tesla CEO reportedly informed traders in July that he goals to extend Twitter’s income from $5.08 billion in 2021 to $26.4 billion by 2028—a rise of 420% (a quantity related to smoking marijuana).
Right here’s what to know in regards to the deal.
How did we get right here?
Relying on who you ask, the six months since Musk introduced his intention to purchase Twitter have both been a masterclass in enterprise, or a chaotic mess.
In late January Musk started shopping for shares in Twitter. He then began tweeting about his perception that Twitter was not doing sufficient to guard free speech, and stated he was giving “severe thought” to constructing an alternate platform. By April, Musk had turn out to be Twitter’s largest single shareholder, with a 9% stake. Twitter invited him to affix the corporate’s board, in a transfer seen by many observers as an try and disarm a nascent hostile takeover try. Musk accepted after which, days later, rejected the supply. He then made a suggestion to purchase the corporate for $44 billion. In Could, Musk stated the deal was “briefly on maintain,” citing the issue of pretend accounts, or bots, on the platform. By July 8 he had formally deserted the deal, accusing the corporate of failing to supply correct bot numbers. Twitter sued him. Musk countersued. Twitter’s case in opposition to him was set to go to trial in October. Shortly earlier than it was set to start, Musk dropped his objections and stated he would undergo with the deal on the agreed value of $44 billion. The Delaware decide delayed the trial, giving Musk till 5 p.m. E.T. on Oct. 28 to shut the deal.
What has Musk stated he’ll do at Twitter?
Musk has instructed a grab-bag of (sometimes contradictory) concepts for tips on how to make Twitter extra standard and extra worthwhile. They are often separated into three tough baskets: modifications to the principles, new options, and reducing prices.
Musk has instructed a collection of recent options for Twitter, as a way to entice new customers and drive up income. These vary from grandiose plans—like integrating a fee system into Twitter, turning it into “X, the every little thing app”—to effective tuning nitty-gritty particulars, like permitting customers to decide on their very own suggestion algorithms. He has instructed encrypting customers’ personal messages, and turbocharging Twitter Blue, the positioning’s paid membership tier, probably even permitting customers to pay to obtain the blue “verified” checkmark.
Learn Extra: Elon Musk Needs to Purchase Twitter Once more. Right here’s How the Platform May Change
Musk has additionally hinted at modifications to the principles of Twitter. He has referred to as himself a “free speech absolutist” and has stated he desires to permit extra content material to stay on Twitter, as long as it isn’t spam and doesn’t break the regulation. He has stated he desires to do away with most types of everlasting bans, and indicated that he’ll permit Trump again onto the platform. These rule modifications could contradict his plans to carry new customers to the positioning: loads of analysis reveals that websites with fewer restrictions on authorized however dangerous content material, like hate speech and harassment, find yourself catering to a vocal minority of customers with excessive views, whereas driving others away.
However within the difficult financial local weather, it could be reducing prices the place Musk makes his first actual mark on the corporate. The Washington Submit reported final week that Musk informed traders he would hearth as a lot as 75% of the workforce in an effort to streamline the enterprise. Many Twitter workers who maintain inventory are involved they are going to be fired instantly if the acquisition completes on Friday, two Twitter workers informed TIME. The following spherical of Twitter inventory held by workers vests on Nov. 1, and, which implies the corporate would incur these prices if workers are nonetheless on payroll at that date, the folks stated.
What might get in the best way?
Musk’s Twitter acquisition has cleared the U.S. authorities’s antitrust approval course of, showing to depart few obstacles in the best way to him assuming management of the corporate as quickly because the deal completes.
Bloomberg reported final week that the Biden Administration was weighing a evaluation of the Musk acquisition on nationwide safety grounds, however an administration spokesperson later denied that report.
There’s an opportunity that Musk might as soon as once more again out of the deal, this time on the eleventh hour, probably citing new authorized arguments as to why he mustn’t need to proceed with an acquisition at a value that he has admitted is way extra for Twitter than it’s value. If that occurs, Musk and Twitter can be headed for a probably messy confrontation in a Delaware courtroom in November.
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