Elon Musk to acquire Twitter

Twitter has announced that Tesla CEO Elon Musk will officially be acquiring the platform.

The world’s richest man is buying the social media giant at $54.20 USD (about $69 CAD) per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion USD (about $56 billion CAD). The deal is expected to close later this year, pending Twitter shareholder and governmental regulatory approval.

Musk originally made the purchasing offer on April 13th, after announcing — then quickly withdrawing — plans to join Twitter’s board. He also purchased a 9.2 percent stake in the company.

According to Musk, his increasing interest in Twitter comes amid his concerns as to whether Twitter adheres to the “principle” that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.” Musk has also been contesting a 2018 court ruling that he needs to vet any tweets that could affect Tesla stock price by his lawyers.

“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,” said Musk in a press statement of the acquisition news. “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.”

However, people have criticized Musk’s motives, especially given the steep price tag associated with purchasing Twitter. For example, users have pointed out that Musk said last November that he would donate $6 billion USD (about $7.6 billion CAD) to the United Nations if the organization could outline how that could solve world hunger. The UN later provided such a plan, although Musk hasn’t ever committed to working with the group to try to enact it.

Musk has also used Twitter to share controversial and even juvenile jokes and memes, including one likening Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. Some people who have publicly criticized Musk have also been blocked by him, which some are arguing is ironic given his staunch “free speech” stance.

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