On April 4th, 2022, Elon Musk announced that he had purchased 9.1 percent of Twitter. The news that the world’s richest man was now (briefly) the largest shareholder in his preferred social media platform sent the stock price soaring and many a wondering.
Musk immediately set about soliciting suggestions about ways to improve Twitter by — what else — tweeting a poll. The company responded by offering him a board seat, a move that would have restricted him to owning just 15 percent of the company. At first, he said yes. Then he changed his mind and said no. Meanwhile, our resident Twitter and Musk experts, Casey Newton and Liz Lopatto, respectively, dug deeper into why Musk was flirting with Twitter and what the likely outcomes would be.
After declining a seat on Twitter’s board, Musk updated his filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to indicate that he would not be a passive player in the company’s affairs. Gone was the language that he would restrict his holdings to just 14.0 percent of the company. In retrospect, this was the first clue that he may attempt something more impactful than just buying some stock of serving as a board member.
Twitter Inc. on Monday accepted Elon Musk’s bid to take over the company, which would give the world’s richest man control over the social-media network where he is also among its most influential users. Mr. Musk intends to take Twitter private as part of the deal.
The Tesla chief executive promised new features and reiterated his push to soften Twitter’s stance on content moderation. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” he said in a news release announcing the deal.
The takeover, marks one of the biggest acquisitions in tech history and will likely have global repercussions for years to come, including possibly shaping how billions of people use social media.