Freedom of Speech is declared driving force for Takeover
Twitter Inc. announced that it has agreed to be acquired by an entity that is wholly owned by Elon Musk. The news comes after it was widely leaked that negotiations were underway over the weekend and that a deal was imminent.
Going forward the company will be privately held and current stockholders will be compensated at $54.20 for each share of common stock that they own as of completion of the deal. This represents a 38% premium over the closing price on April 1st when Musk’s 9% stake was announced.
The board voted unanimously to the proposal and, though subject to the approval of Twitter’s shareholders, and applicable regulatory approvals the agreement is expected to go through in 2022.
What will follow is unknown, but speculation is rampant
Since the announcement on April 1st that Elon Musk had purchased approximately 9% of Twitter and this Saga began, there has been a busier than usual frenzy of speculation regarding the possibility that has now come to pass.
On the most superficial level, there was an odd kind of measured jubilation on the political Right, with speculation that Musk might re-instate Trump and others who have been permanently banned (although Trump himself indicated that he would decline if invited back) and a sense of horror on the Left – with an implied mistrust of the world’s richest human, connecting this situation to ongoing debates over wealth taxes and economic inequality overall.
On a deeper track are those closer to the situation – such as Jack Dorsey, who expressed support and openly criticized the current board and public structure in elucidating tweets, such as the one below.
Looking back at some of the harmony and love shared over bitcoin and other major topics an alliance, or at least a consulting status for @Jack could be amazing in terms of what could come of this – a private Twitter with Musk at the helm, in terms of a new direction for social media and all online business and how they evolve going forward.
While it may seem presumptuous to think it won’t be a disaster, there are deeper issues that would indicate that a lot more thought might have gone into this than a superficial look reveals.
Elon Musk has proved, and explained to anyone that will listen, that his motives and goals for any business endeavor are in a new category of entrepreneur, and his success, often against incredible odds, are a testament to the power of this mindset.
With Tesla, he took on nothing less than the most powerful, entrenched (and arguably corrupt) special interest group in history, the fossil fuel industry, and somehow, due perhaps as much to timing as to any particular strategy or plan, prevailed.
That this takeover could mark the beginning of real change in “Web2” and social media, regarding of the risk of a private individual excepting near absolute control, it is a welcome change, based on the reality that the status quo, at Twitter and basically all the so-called internet giants could not be any worse.
Let’s hope that the public and very visible lead up to this deal will be followed in the near future by a continuation of that openness and that changes and plans will be announced as they happen, which would be entertaining at the least, and exhilarating at best.
There’s a lot more to unpack in this, not just in the reactions and opinions that will surely flood now that the next step is upon us. but in a fruitful and valuable deeper look into the real motivations and potential of this new deal.
For that, please stay tuned, and for now, please let me know what you think about Twitter’s decision and new owner.
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