Twitter Turns The Tables On Elon Musk

OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion

Elon Musk’s journey to purchase the Mega super giant social media platform- Twitter- has been a rollercoaster ride as parts of the world have been consumed with the daily highs and lows of this on again- off again- deal.

As soon as people are making plans for Musk’s new role and potential changes to the site, something comes along to change the trajectory- and spin things into chaos again.

It all started around the end of January 2022, when Musk at that time accumulated a bunch of Twitter Stock and wound its way around April when almost daily there was a battle between Musk and the Twitter boar, and then into May when the business deal appeared to be done- to mid-May as Musk announced that the deal was ‘oh hold”.

Yahoo Finance reported about the Musk-Twitter timeline:

Suddenly, Musk was Twitter’s largest individual shareholder, with more than 9% of the company, and speculation swirled about how he would influence the network’s future. He’d been frequently tweeting ideas for revamping the social media platform. Over the next week, Musk would accept an offer to join Twitter’s board of directors and, in a sudden reversal, reject that offer five days later, leaving the company’s management, employees, investors and interested observers guessing about his plans.

May 13: Twitter deal on hold, Musk said:

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk said in a tweet, which sent Twitter stock plummeting.

A few hours later he sent another tweet saying he is “still committed” to the acquisition.

Musk said he was waiting for details on a recent filing from Twitter that fake accounts on the social media platform contributed less than 5% of its users. In a follow-up tweet late Friday, he added that his team would do a random sample of 100 followers as a way to find out.

May 16: Musk and Agrawal have it out… on Twitter over spam accounts

Musk was not impressed with Agrawal’s response. He suggested calling users to verify their accounts, then he simply replied to Agrawal with a poop emoji.

May 17: Musk threatened to pull deal

Musk declared he won’t proceed with his takeover plan unless the social media giant can prove bots make up fewer than 5% of its users. The comment stoked speculation that Musk may try to lower the price.

But Twitter’s board said it plans to enforce the $44 billion agreement, saying the transaction is in the best interest of all shareholders. Directors had already voted to unanimously recommend that shareholders approve Musk’s $54.20-a-share offer.

The proposed takeover includes a $1 billion breakup fee, which Musk will have to pay if the deal falls apart due to financing issues.

Ma 18-The Western Journal reported now Twitter is holding Musk to his agreement:

In a reversal of roles from the beginning of Elon Musk’s takeover attempt of Twitter, the billionaire now appears to be tentative about the whole thing, and the company is panting hotfoot to complete the deal.

On Friday, Musk stated his $44 billion purchase of twitter was “on hold” over the issue of bots. Since then, Musk has blended statements about his willingness to go forward with his doubts that fewer than 5 percent of Twitter’s accounts are bots.

Experts trying to guess at Musk’s motives, aside from the joy of trolling the world, have guessed that either Musk wants to off the deal or wants to renegotiate the price.

On Tuesday, Twitter’s board said that it would like all of this fol-de-rol over and retreated into the world of corporate-speak by issuing a statement saying the company was “committed to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable,” according to The New York Times.

“The board and Mr. Musk agreed to a transaction at $54.20 per share. We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement,” the Twitter statement said.

Some said Musk is simply trying to wear out Twitter with his twists and turns.

“I think all of this is just him making a lot of noise and showing the kind of headaches that he would cause for the company if they were to try to litigate this,” said Ann Lipton, a professor of corporate governance at Tulane Law School.

Ele Klein, co-chairman of the global shareholder activism group at the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, said Twitter’s board is now caught in a trap.

“It then becomes a question of, if you’re the company, even though you have a really great fact pattern, how long do you want to spend fighting,” Klein said. “Life’s too short to fight with Elon Musk.”

Twitter said in a Tuesday filing that if the deal does not go through, the company would pay a price by having its stock decline in value, the Times noted.

A report in The Washington Post likened Musk’s dealings with Twitter to “a dog playing with a toy,” attributing the quote to “a person familiar with the situation.”

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