Elon Musk will buy Twitter in $44 billion deal, promises to add features and defeat spam bots


Elon Musk
Elon Musk takes a bow after successful launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Follow-up: Bezos weighs in on Musk’s Twitter takeover: ‘Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?’

Elon Musk is buying Twitter.

The social media giant announced Monday via a press release that the SpaceX and Tesla chief will buy the company in cash for about $44 billion, or $54.20/share, a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Monday’s announcement follows a flurry of activity by the world’s richest person over the past month related to Twitter.

Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO who replaced Jack Dorsey late last year, provided a statement in the release. “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world,” he said. “Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”

Musk’s purchase would be the largest deal ever to take a company private, The New York Times reported.

“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” Bret Taylor, Twitter’s independent board chair, said in a statement. “The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

Musk has used Twitter to converse with Seattle-area tech titans Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. On Friday Musk tweeted that he asked Gates if the Microsoft co-founder was short-selling shares of Tesla. Earlier this month Bezos responded to a tweet from Musk about converting Twitter’s headquarters into a homeless shelter.

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