It’s official: The world’s richest man is down $44 billion and up one of the world’s most influential social-media sites. Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter closed late Thursday, ending the long legal drama over whether he’d actually go through with the agreement he struck in April. Musk tried to back out of the deal this summer, so Twitter sued him. Then earlier this month, Musk reversed course and offered to move ahead. A Delaware Chancery Court ruled that he had until October 28 to close the deal if he wanted to avoid a trial.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO began his reign by changing his Twitter bio to “Chief Twit” and firing several longtime top Twitter executives. The Washington Post reports:
Chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, were let go, according to the people. Sean Edgett, the company’s general counsel, was also pushed out, one of the people said. The top executives were hastily escorted out of the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
The company will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and go private on November 8, according to TechCrunch. Shareholders will receive $54.20 per share as part of the deal.
Musk describes himself as a “free-speech absolutist,” and he has suggested he wants to loosen moderation at Twitter and reverse the site’s permanent ban on former president Donald Trump and other users, because he doesn’t believe in lifelong bans. But on Thursday Musk attempted to reassure advertisers, saying, “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”
As of Friday afternoon, Twitter was no more a hellscape than it was 24 hours ago. Late Thursday, Musk appeared to celebrate his acquisition of the site with this tweet:
Then on Friday morning he added:
And in the afternoon he posted this rather staid announcement:
There are no noticeable changes to the site aside from some worried users announcing their imminent departure and conservatives calling on Musk to make good on his promise to free Trump from his self-inflicted Truth Social purgatory.
The former president had already vowed to “stay on Truth” hours after the Musk-Twitter deal was first announced in April, but many are skeptical that he’ll keep this pledge.
Musk plans to hold a town hall for Twitter employees on Friday, and if the last six months are any indication, there’s still plenty of drama to come.
This post has been updated.
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