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Elon Musk’s $61 billion takeover offer is accepted by Twitter.

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This morning, get ready for some heated office debate. Elon Musk has struck gold by striking a deal to buy Twitter for USD$44 billion (AUD$61.4 billion) after putting in a proposal to purchase the global social media behemoth. The world’s richest man will gain control of the social media platform, which has millions of users, including some of the world’s most powerful leaders, as part of the deal. However, it’s unclear what he intends to do with it.

Musk, a frequent Twitter user and part-time Doge-father, reportedly put his hat in the ring earlier this month to purchase the social media platform. Musk’s takeover proposal was initially rejected by the Twitter board, which enacted a poison pill anti-takeover provision that may make the purchase prohibitively expensive. The millionaire, however, serenaded shareholders with the financial specifics of his offer, according to The Wall Street Journal, and even amended his plan to show he had obtained finance. Twitter began negotiations with Musk to buy the firm for the projected USD$54.20 per share price under extreme duress. The deal was reached just two weeks after Musk announced that he had purchased a 9% share in the platform.

The Tesla CEO, who known for his outspoken opinions, stated that he wanted to purchase Twitter because of the lack of “free speech” on the platform. He believes it should be turned into a private firm in order to better serve its users and provide a more open conversation, which he refers to as the “social imperative” of free speech.

“Free speech is the core of a healthy democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where critical issues affecting humanity’s future are debated,” Musk said in a statement announcing the deal. “I also wants to make Twitter better than it has ever been by adding new features, opening up the algorithms to increase trust, combating spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”

While Musk will argue that his control of Twitter heralds in a new age for free speech, it does create a fascinating quandary that echoes a move made by his fellow billionaire contender. The Washington Post was purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2018, much to the dismay of the general population. Three years later, Bezos has transformed the journal into a highly lucrative business with more than doubled web traffic, demonstrating the value of having a digital native at the helm.

Musk is expected to follow a similar strategy, albeit from an entirely different angle, according to initial speculation. Musk’s takeover of Twitter, according to Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at social investment network eToro, may be a success for the social media behemoth, but it may put the billionaire’s other businesses in jeopardy.

“Such a rapid concession by the Twitter board for a USD$54 per share proposal, 30% below the stock’s price high of last year, undoubtedly indicates the harsh future for the social media sector and CEO Parag Agrawal’s only moderate turnaround impact,” says Laidler. “A successful Twitter deal might create concerns among Tesla (TSLA) shareholders, with the company’s CEO getting involved in yet another time-consuming business and possibly selling down a portion of his 9.1% shareholding, worth over USD$90 billion.”

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