Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion on Monday, according to the company, giving the world's richest person control of one of the world's most influential social media sites—which serves as a platform for political leaders, a sounding board for experts across industries, and an information hub for millions of everyday users.
According to a press release, Twitter will become a private corporation under the terms of the agreement, with stockholders receiving $54.20 per share.
The fact that Musk owns Twitter gives him control over a number of tremendously important societal and political concerns, probably most notably the ban on former President Donald Trump that the company imposed in response to the riots on Jan. 6.
“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 the release. 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 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.”
The company’s board of directors met with Musk on Sunday, and negotiations extended into the early hours of Monday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions. The two sides were focused on determining whether Musk had the financing to complete the acquisition, and did not spend much time discussing Musk’s strategy for the future of the social network, the person said.
The deal, expected to be announced by the market’s close on Monday, raises thorny questions about how the outspoken billionaire could put his stamp on a platform widely used by celebrities, politicians, activists, and state leaders alike. Rather than making money, Musk has said his primary interest is restoring free speech on Twitter—a goal interpreted by some to mean he would lift restrictions the website has placed on influential figures, including former president Donald Trump.