Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla (TSLA.O) and the world’s richest person, said on Friday he was terminating his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter (TWTR.N) because the social media company had breached multiple provisions of the merger agreement.Greg Roumeliotis, “Twitter vows legal fight after Musk pulls out of $44 billion deal” at Reuters (July 9, 2022)
Twitter plans to fight:
The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
— Bret Taylor (@btaylor) July 8, 2022
The underlying issue is that, since Musk and Twitter came to an agreement in late April for $54.20 a share, tech stocks have crashed. That meant Musk’s own Tesla (electric cars) stock fell too. Now, strapped for cash, he wants a lower price for Twitter (of course).
We hear from Bloomberg that one of his strategies for getting out of that price (or else out of the deal) was ceaseless demands for more information on the bot problem (= propaganda mill accounts that are not individual customers).
In a letter to the company, filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk accuses Twitter of making “false and misleading representations” about the prevalence of fake accounts on its platform. He says the company has not complied with its obligations to share data and information that he says he needs to evaluate its business.Shannon Bond, “Elon Musk says he won’t buy Twitter” at National Public Radio (July 8, 2022)
Some insist that Musk must go through with it because there is ink on the deal. But Big Money is a bit more like war than small money is.
Others think it’s all theater: Musk is simply compelling a price reduction by other means:
Elon Musk says he’s not buying Twitter for $44 billion because of all the bots & fake accounts. Twitter says it’s suing him to compel purchase. I’d bet on a lower purchase price being negotiated before all is done here.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 8, 2022
Musk, meanwhile, isn’t saying too much. He has gone back to enraging the Woke. His latest tweet (9 July 2022) seems very much a stab in that direction:
USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for ~50 years pic.twitter.com/v5PSLbvEAE
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2022
“Whew! I almost wasted a bundle!” said Musk to reporters. “I almost plopped down $44 billion just to bring the Babylon Bee back to Twitter, and it turns out they had their own website this whole time? Awesome!”
Musk then took a break from designing rockets and solving Earth’s underpopulation problem to sit at his computer and giggle at the marginally funny Christian satire of the Babylon Bee.Tech, “Elon Musk Backs Out Of Twitter Deal After Realizing He Can Read The Babylon Bee By Going Directly To Their Website” at Babylon Bee (July 8, 2022)
The Bee has since offered to sell Musk the site for a mere $4 billion…
Note: Twitter has laid off 30% of its recruitment team at the San Francisco head office, citing a need to “refocus” during the current Big Tech downturn.
You may also wish to read: Twitter now suing India’s government over its censorship demands If Elon Musk buys Twitter, he also buys the fact that powerful governments like India and the EU, want Twitter to censor MORE, not less. Meanwhile, on July 4, new owner-to-be Elon Musk tweets a jab at Twitter’s own censors: The British government would have “fact checked” Paul Revere.