Elon Musk inaugurated a new chapter in the soap opera operation to buy Twitter, after proposing on Monday to go ahead with the purchase that he wanted to give up months ago after an agreement with the social network’s board.
The two sides are now negotiating the next stages, but many points of this gargantuan $44 billion transaction remain a mystery.
How is the operation?
Elon Muskwhich in April proposed buying the social network at $54.20 a share before giving up on the acquisition in July, sent Twitter a letter stating that you are willing to proceed with the commitment, at the initially agreed price.
The millionaire founder of Tesla sets two conditions: that the trial initiated by Twitter against him to force him to proceed with the purchase is suspended and that he receives the necessary financing.
Twitter was notified of the proposal and said that it has “the intention” to complete the transaction.
According to The New York Times, the judge in charge of the case in Delaware summoned the parties to a confidential meeting on Tuesday and asked them to fix each other before returning to her court.
If they reach an agreement, that would nullify the trial that was to begin on October 17.
After the twists and turns that this operation had, Twitter it will look for guarantees that the purchase will go ahead, for example the deposit of a sum of money to guarantee it, according to Adam Badawi, a professor of commercial law at the University of Berkeley.
It could also seek that the completion of the acquisition be supervised by a magistrate.
The lawyers of Twitter They did not immediately respond to questions from AFP.
Why this change?
Elon Musk he is a habitué of controversies, broken promises and trials. But even for the richest man in the world, the sums at stake are significant.
Determining the motivations behind his latest play is speculation for now.
Many jurists maintain that he simply realized that he would not win the trial because he could not consistently sustain his main argument to annul the agreement: the greater presence than that indicated by the social network of false and automatic accounts in Twitter.
For Carl Tobias, Professor of Law at the University of Richmond, it is also possible that Musk has been bothered by the dissemination, within the framework of the judicial process, of messages with other personalities from the business world and has preferred to avoid the publication of other communications.
The fact that he did not carry out a verification of the status of the company before his initial offer, as is generally the case in this type of agreement, also affects him, Tobias estimates.
“I think on both sides, the situation became embarrassing, revealing and not very constructive”he pointed.
The action of Twitter rose 22% on Tuesday after knowing the change of opinion of Musk.
But the company is not at its best.
It suffers, like other giants in the sector, from a reduction in advertising expenses amid a cooling economy, and its image has been affected by the turbulence and uncertainty surrounding the interest of Musk for buying it.
The group recorded a drop in its turnover of 1% in the second quarter, and the mood of the employees is not the best.
Recent accusations from his former security chief fired in January, Peiter Zatko, have eroded his reputation. The former employee criticizes the Twitter address for not taking serious security flaws sufficiently into account.
“It’s quite ironic that, for Musk, the easiest part of this deal was buying Twitter.”mused Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. “The hardest part will be dealing with the issues around monetization (making a profit) and subscriber engagement”he added.
What would Twitter look like with Musk at the helm?
Musk He presents himself as an ardent defender of freedom of expression, and has already stated that he plans to let Internet users express themselves as they see fit, as long as they do not break the law.
He also said he was in favor of lifting the suspension of former President Donald Trump’s account on Twitter, decided by the company after the attack on the Capitol in January 2021.