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Elon Musk Offered $41 Billion To Buy Twitter — And Sparks Battle For His Future

Other responses focused on obsessing over what Musk would do if she passed. Musk’s direct reference to free speech in the message accompanying his attempt has people worried that if he takes over the platform, he could undo some of the platform’s actions against hate speech.

“I would argue that there would be a negative impact on democracies around the world if someone like Elon Musk owned Twitter,” says Christopher Buzzi, founder of BotSentinel, a service that tracks inauthentic behavior on Twitter. Musk’s absolute approach to free speech will open the door for people like Donald Trump, who was banned from Twitter in January 2021 for fomenting rebellion in the US Capitol via social media, to return to the site.

“Twitter will become a hotbed of misinformation and misinformation with real-world consequences,” Bozzi says.

One of the reasons Musk might want to buy the company — if he’s serious about it — is that it serves as a loudspeaker for his own opinions. “He is a social media specialist,” says Carrie Cooper, Professor of Business Administration at Manchester Business School. “He is an independent entrepreneur, in all respects. He has been fairly successful in his business ventures, and I can understand that he wants a communication platform. It allows him to express his opinions in a way that matches his personality.”

But the big question remains: How likely is Musk’s offer to be accepted? While the bid of $54.20 per share is more than the value of the shares before Musk bought it, it is still down from its high of $77.06 per share in February 2021. It is also well below the 52-week average that the company has been trading. And intraday trading on April 14, which fell below the opening price, indicates that the market does not think Musk is likely to pull it off. Moreover, Musk’s 38 percent premium “falls within the range of the average premium paid to companies,” which tends to be 30 to 40 percent higher than the present value, Galpin says. “It is not a knock-out to ensure that enough shareholders will agree to an offer of this caliber,” he says.

While Musk, the company’s largest shareholder, clearly wants to move forward with the sale, other large shareholders, including The Vanguard Group, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and State Street Corp., may not. WIRED asked all four companies if they would accept Musk’s acquisition. At the time of publication, Morgan Stanley had not responded. Ed Patterson, State Street Corp’s global head of public relations, Barbara Williams, BlackRock’s director of corporate communications, and Vanguard spokeswoman Alyssa Thornton said they would not comment on specific companies.

Conventional business wisdom would suggest that they are likely to decline the offer. “Some shareholders may own the stock for reasons of personal value, not for financial reasons,” Galpin says. It will be a mixed bag across the shareholder base. Is it a financial game to view them as a good societal decision based on personal values? Only individual contributors know this.”

Elon Musk Offered $41 Billion To Buy Twitter — And Sparks Battle For His Future

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