Skip to main content
Elon Musk and Twitter
Elon Musk said he wants to “transform” Twitter by taking it private.

Elon Musk has succeeded in convincing Twitter to accept his takeover offer, which would make the world’s richest man, who runs the most valuable car company, the owner of one of the most influential social networks. The $44 billion Twitter deal is set to be the biggest leveraged buyout in at least two decades, according to Dealogic.

But while we know now that Twitter is probably getting a new owner, plenty of questions remain about what happens next.

What’s the business plan? A typical press release about a deal offers insight into turnaround plans, synergies or growth targets. Not Twitter’s. Instead, Musk said in the statement that he wants to eliminate spammers and promote free speech. He will have more leeway to act outside of the glare of public shareholders, but his overall strategy is not clear yet.

How will Musk’s free speech vision for Twitter play out? Angelo Carusone, the C.E.O. of the nonprofit Media Matters for America, told DealBook that Musk’s view of free speech is “muddled,” because it elevates all information equally, including potentially extreme views and disinformation. “Twitter has been a vanguard when it comes to policy,” Carusone said. “I worry about what this will do to the rest of the landscape.”

Will Musk use Twitter to troll the S.E.C.?

Musk is still in trouble with the agency over his tweets about getting “funding secured” to take Tesla private in 2018. As part of his settlement with the agency, in which Musk neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing, he also agreed to stay mum about the case. But he has recently said that he was “forced” into a settlement, and he tweeted yesterday that S.E.C. officials were “shameless puppets.” His ability to secure funding to acquire Twitter is unlikely to make him more meek. (The S.E.C. did not respond to a request for comment.)

How does China play into this?

Jeff Bezos is one of many questioning whether Tesla’s sizable dependence on China might give the country some influence on decision-making at Twitter, whose service has been blocked in China for years.

How many jobs does Musk have now?

In addition to soon owning Twitter, Musk leads Tesla and the rocket maker SpaceX. He also owns the Boring Company, a tunnel-digging firm, and Neuralink, a brain-tech company. Will he be able to juggle it all? Recall that a main reason that the activist investor Elliott Management pushed for Jack Dorsey’s ouster as Twitter’s C.E.O. was that he couldn’t effectively run two companies.

Leave a Reply