Musk proposed buying Twitter at $54.20 per share in a letter to Twitter executives, granting the company a $44 billion value and causing stock prices to surge as much as 22%. Twitter, which had been battling Musk in court over his previous attempt to nix the offer over a dispute about the platform’s true number of users, announced that management intends to close the deal. Sources told CNBC that the transaction could take place as soon as Friday.
Earlier this year, Musk said he would cancel Trump’s ban from Twitter — a move that occurred due to his alleged role in the January 6 riots at the United States Capitol. “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk explained, adding that the decision was “morally bad” and clarifying that he would “reverse the permanent ban.”
Trump launched his own social media platform, Truth Social, following the events of January 6. Shares of the special-purpose acquisition company attempting to bring Trump Media and Technology Group, the owner of Truth Social, to the public markets slid by 5% on Tuesday. The former commander-in-chief previously declared that he is “not going back to Twitter” and will remain on his platform, which reportedly experienced a lackluster launch.
A potential change of heart from Trump could disrupt the midterm elections as he returns to mainstream social media. As many as 92% of his nearly 200 endorsed candidates clinched victory in their primary races, according to an analysis from the BBC, although some swing-state nominees have since attempted to downplay their connections to Trump.
Musk, who also serves as the chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, has emphasized the need to empower free expression on social media. “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,” Musk said upon making his first offer to buy the company, adding that the “extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all.”
Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, was recently deposed by both sides of the merger lawsuit, over which a trial had been scheduled for October 17. A longtime friend of Musk, Dorsey has called the world’s richest man and his mission to “extend the light of consciousness” the “singular solution” he trusts to run Twitter.
Contending that permanent bans “should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts,” Musk added that the platform’s renewed emphasis upon free speech would not mean that users would have unfettered privileges to say “something that is illegal or destructive to the world.”
The merger has already been approved by a majority of Twitter shareholders, among whom Musk is the largest, with a 9.6% stake in the company. Twitter reported losses of $0.08 per share in its second-quarter earnings, falling below the $0.14 gain per share expected by analysts.