NEW YORK (April 25, 2022)– The Twitter board met Sunday to consider Mr. Musk’s $46.5 billion bid to take the company private, and the two sides negotiated into Monday.
Twitter is nearing a deal to sell itself to Elon Musk, two people with knowledge of the situation said, a move that would unite the world’s richest man with the influential social networking service. An agreement could be announced as soon as Monday, the people told The Times’s Lauren Hirsch, Mike Isaac and Katie Conger.
Twitter’s board was negotiating with Mr. Musk into Monday over his unsolicited bid to buy the company, after he began lining up $46.5 billion in financing for the offer last week, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss confidential information. The two sides were talking about details including a timeline to close any potential deal and any fees that would be paid if an agreement were signed and then fell apart, they said.
The discussions followed a Twitter board meeting on Sunday morning to discuss Mr. Musk’s offer, the people said. Obtaining commitments for the financing was a turning point for how the board viewed Mr. Musk’s bid of $54.20 a share, enabling the company’s 11 board members to seriously consider his offer, the people said.
Twitter’s stock rose 4 percent on Monday, to about $51.23 a share.
An agreement is not yet final and may still fall apart, but what had initially seemed to be a highly improbable deal appeared to be nearing an endgame. The situation involving Twitter and Mr. Musk remains fluid and fast-moving, the people with knowledge of the situation said.
Elon Musk can at times be inscrutable, and his politics are elusive, which has made it somewhat difficult to determine exactly what the billionaire would do if he successfully acquired Twitter. But over the past weeks and months, Mr. Musk has given more hints about what he would change about Twitter — in interviews, regulatory filings and, of course, on his personal Twitter account.
Here are the main areas Mr. Musk could seek to address:
Free speech and content moderators. Mr. Musk has frequently expressed concern that Twitter’s content moderators go too far and intervene too much on the platform, which he sees as the internet’s “de facto town square.”
In the regulatory filing in which he announced his bid to buy Twitter, he wrote: “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”
He added that he didn’t trust the company’s current leadership to make the changes he saw as necessary and prioritize his ideas about free speech on the
platform. “Since making my investment, I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form,” he wrote.
In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Musk said he hoped even his “worst critics” continued to use the platform “because that is what free speech means.”
The Trump question. Mr. Musk has not commented publicly on how he would handle the former President Donald Trump’s banned Twitter account. But his free speech comments have stoked speculation that Twitter under his ownership might reinstate Mr. Trump, who was barred from the platform last year. After the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Twitter said Mr. Trump had violated its policies by inciting violence among his supporters. Facebook also banned Mr. Trump for the same reason.
The former president, who was known for tweets that criticized opponents and sometimes announced policy changes, is also trying to get his own social media site off the ground. His start-up, Truth Social, has struggled to attract users, and the problem could get worse now that Mr. Musk has suggested changing content moderation rules on Twitter. Mr. Trump said in a recent interview that he probably wouldn’t rejoin Twitter if he could.
If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
The algorithm. At a TED conference this month, he elaborated on his plans to make the company’s algorithm an open-source model, which would allow users to see the code showing how certain posts came up in their timelines.
He said the open-source method would be better than “having tweets sort of be mysteriously promoted and demoted with no insight into what’s going on.”
Mr. Musk has also pointed to the politicization of the platform before, and recently tweeted that any social media platform’s policies “are good if the most extreme 10 percent on left and right are equally unhappy.”
Who uses the platform and how. Before Mr. Musk offered to buy Twitter this month, he expressed concern about the relevance of the platform.
When an account posted a list of the 10 most followed Twitter accounts, including former President Barack Obama and the pop stars Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, Mr. Musk responded and wrote: “Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. Is Twitter dying?”
More recently, the Tesla chief executive promised in a tweet Thursday that he would “defeat the spam bots or die trying!”
Source: New York Times wrote the original article.