As it turns out, Elon Musk might be following through on his plans to buy Twitter after all.
According to a new report from Associated Press, the Tesla CEO is no longer looking to back out of the highly publicized $44 billion deal to acquire the social media platform. Interestingly enough, Musk didn't announce the latest development in the ongoing saga on his own Twitter account, instead breaking tradition and communicating in a more professional manner: via a letter to the company which they included in their Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The about-face from Musk comes just two weeks ahead of the trial in Delaware over the billionaire's previous attempt to back out of the deal, claiming that the social media platform had too many bots and didn't live up to its potential as a bastion of free speech. In a more formal letter to the SEC, Musk's lawyers wrote, “Twitter has, in fact, refused to provide the information that Mr. Musk has repeatedly requested since May 9, 2022 to facilitate his evaluation of spam and fake accounts on the company’s platform. Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details regarding the company’s own testing methodologies, whether through written materials or verbal explanations, is tantamount to refusing Mr. Musk’s data requests.”
Twitter responded to Musk's letter by saying that the company intends to close the transaction at $54.20 per share but stopped short of saying they were going to drop the lawsuit. According to experts, it seems likely that Twitter will follow through with the suit given their on-and-off again relationship with Musk that has pretty much broken any semblance of trust between them.
“I don’t think Twitter will give up its trial date on just Musk’s word — it’s going to need more certainty about closing,” Brooklyn Law School professor, Andrew Jennings, told the AP. In all likelihood, Twitter most likely suspects Musk's latest move as a delaying tactic given that he's already tried to postpone the trial twice.
The legal merits of Musk's defense for terminating the deal don't seem to bode well either for the world's richest man, with most of his argument resting on Twitter misrepresenting the amount of spam accounts on the site. Twitter has apparently been pretty effective picking apart the numbers third-party data scientists had provided to Musk. Even if it did fly in court, there would still be an uphill battle to prove that it justifies pulling out of the agreement.
Given Musk's track record of making snap decisions and penchant for doing things just for the meme, many outside observers have dismissed his attempts to back out of the Twitter deal as nothing more than buyer's remorse. But even if Twitter is successful in getting the deal to go through, it may end up coming back to bite them for the exact same reasons.
“The deal will solve some of the short-term uncertainty at the company, but Twitter is essentially in the same place it was in April,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg says. “There is still plenty of uncertainty around what Musk intends to do with Twitter, as well as the future of a company with a leader who has wavered in his commitment to buying it. And if we’ve learned anything from this saga, it’s that Musk is unpredictable and that it isn’t over yet.”
Photo via Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris
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