Tesla founder and mining heir Elon Musk has agreed to buy Twitter into a $ 44 billion deal that will turn the social media network into a private company, with potential future large – scale consequences for the platform.
But just after Monday’s announcement, it’s hard to say exactly how Musk – led Twitter will differ from its shareholder – owned iteration. Musk’s statement announcing the private agreement indicated that there are a number of possible changes, including “authenticating all people”, eliminating spam and “improving the product with new features,” but the details yet to be clarified.
The statement said Musk was saying he appreciates free speech and hopes to “make Twitter better than ever” and maintain the platform’s status as “the square of the digital home.” But, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation international freedom of speech director Jillian York, Musk’s commitment to free speech is highly questionable.
Musk’s commitment to free speech is questioned
“He talked about being a free-speech absolutist, but he really doesn’t have the bona fides to support that,” York said. Musk has initiated legal action against people who have publicly criticized him in the past.
York also noted that Musk’s ownership, coupled with the fact that direct messaging on the platform remains unencrypted, could create a problem – in theory – for business users.
“For years, people have been calling on Twitter to encrypt direct messages,” she said. “In theory, this means that [Musk] able to access your DMs. And for businesses that could be a threat. “
However, there are many reasons to believe that Twitter may not change much, especially in the short term, as a result of buying Musk from the company. Unless Musk dismisses and replaces large numbers of employees, key decision-makers on content policy and moderation will remain.
“It’s hard for me to see how this will be better or worse for consumers than a group of shareholders in control of the company,” York said.
In addition, it’s hard to see how Musk could achieve some of the goals he outlined in today ‘s statement, she said.
“It is a difficult thing to go after robots and misinformation,” she said. “So I think … he’s going to face a very difficult problem when he tries to deal with it.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter stock holders will receive $ 54.20 in cash per share of Twitter joint stock they hold upon closing of the proposed transaction, which is expected to take place by the end of the year and subject to regulatory approval.
The purchase price represents a 38% premium on Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk publicly revealed a share of about 9% in Twitter, the company said. Following that revelation, Musk publicly offered to buy Twitter, and at first the company seemed ready to rebuff the offer – he accepted a so – called “poison pill” doctor, which determines if one gets or a group owned at least 15%. Due to normal Twitter stock without board approval, other shareholders would be allowed to purchase additional shares at a discount.
Eventually, however, the board agreed to the offer.
“The Twitter Board undertook a thoughtful and comprehensive process to evaluate Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty and financing. The proposed transaction will provide a substantial cash premium, which we believe is the best way forward for stockholders Twitter, “Bret Taylor, chairman of Twitter’s independent board, said in a company statement.
To close the agreement, Musk ratified $ 25.5 billion debt and margin loan financing, and it’s making promises $ 21.0 billion in cash.
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Elon Musk buys Twitter: What’s next for business users?
Source link Elon Musk buys Twitter: What’s next for business users?