Following a week of drama for Elon Musk and Twitter, the SA-born billionaire has thrown the tech world into a right spin today: He’s offered to buy the ENTIRE social media giant for about $41bn (R600bn).
This follows a dramatic few days when the platform announced he would be joining the board only for Musk to renege. Taking the board seat would have prevented him from a possible takeover – and possibly limited his raucous tweeting.
Musk is the company’s largest single shareholder after recently acquiring 9.2% of its shares.
In his filing to buy the company, Musk – eternally humble and not sounding at all like a Batman villain, said: “Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.” 🙄
Musk has been opposed to the leadership of the powerful platform, used by presidents and celebrities alike, under new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal who took over from founder Jack Dorsey. Agrawal is in favour of more controls on hate speech, which Musk opposes.
“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,” Musk said in his filing.
“However, since making my investment I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form,” he said.
It’s an old instinct dressed up in new tech clothes: business barons have long sought to make their mark by buying media outlets. Whether this is good for the platform itself, however, is debatable.
This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 11 April 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.