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TECH: Twitter board, Elon Musk seals $44bn deal

Twitter’s company board has endorsed the proposed $44 billion sales of the microblogging site to billionaire Elon Musk.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Twitter’s company board has endorsed the proposed $44 billion sales of the microblogging site to billionaire Elon Musk.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the company agreed to the deal, according to ABC News.

The Tesla CEO was quoted by AFP saying Tuesday that his $44 billion move to take over Twitter remained held up by “very significant” questions about the number of fake users on the microblogging platform.

Billionaire Musk was said to have been reluctant to talk about the deal when asked at the Qatar Economic Forum, which he described as a “sensitive” matter.

“There are still a few unresolved matters,” Musk said by video link.

According to him, this includes whether “the number of fake and spam users on the system is less than five per cent as per their claims, which I think is probably not most people’s experience when using Twitter. 

“So we are still awaiting resolution on that matter and that is a very significant matter,” the Tesla car and SpaceX exploration chief said.

Mr Musk said there were also questions about Twitter’s debt and whether shareholders will vote for the deal.

“So I think these are the three things that need to resolve” to make the transaction happen.

The Telsa founder said he wanted to get 80 per cent of the North American population and half the world’s population onto Twitter.

“That means it must be something that is appealing to people, it obviously can’t be a place where they feel uncomfortable or harassed or they will simply not use it.”

“I think there is this big difference between freedom of speech and freedom of reach,” Musk added.

“You are allowed to yell whatever you want in a public space, more or less. But whatever you say, however controversial, doesn’t need to then be broadcast to the whole country. 

“So I think generally the approach of Twitter should be to let people say what they want within the balance of the law but then limit who sees that based on any given Twitter user preferences.”

He said that if the deal went ahead his role would be to “drive the product”, saying this is what he did at Tesla and SpaceX.

Elon Musk said he expected Tesla’s number of employees to fall by about 3.5 percent in the next three months but the headcount would start rising again in a year.

Mr Musk, when asked about the next US presidential election in 2024, said he is yet to decide who will be supporting but announced his plans to inject $20-$25 million into a candidate’s campaign. 

He has previously indicated he could support Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican governor.


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