April 4, 2022, Monday – the richest man in the world became even richer as he officially made himself the largest individual shareholder of the widely used social media platform, Twitter. This is when Elon Musk has once again stirred the cyber world with trending tweets regarding a 9%+ ownership of the said networking platform.
Fast forward to Friday, July 8, 2022, Twitter received a letter from Musk’s legal team, calling off the $44B acquisition deal. It then ignited a severe legal war – an ongoing one – between the most popular social site and the most famous business magnate.
Was it all just an impulse decision of a business tycoon? Was it all a strategic plan of all involved business titans? Or was everything a lucky save – a blessing in disguise – from what should have been the worst business acquisition of the modern era?
What happened within those 3 months of excitement, preparations, visions, plans, and hype? Let’s take a closer look.
31 January | A Pique of Interest
Elon Musk tweets – huge announcements or random thoughts – often go viral. Amidst his frequent tweets, he’s already building his stake and buying Twitter shares.
14 March | Stake Built Quite High
As per a securities filing, Musk is already the largest individual shareholder of Twitter, owning about 9.2%.
24 March | Elon Musk Twitter Tweets
Musk still keeps his intentions private and the general public still has no idea how much of Twitter does Elon Musk own. The business titan seems to enjoy starting Tweet rebuttals with his absurd comments and criticisms about the platform.
04 April | Securities Filing Disclosure
Now official and public, Twitter’s largest shareholder stirs a whirlwind of emotions, opinions, reactions, and propositions.
- 05 April | From a Regular Tweeter to a Board Member
Twitter persuades Elon to officially become a part of the board of directors. Executives even publicly welcome him to the microblogging site.
09 April | From Seat on the Board of Directors to a Mere Active Investor
Just when everyone’s preparing to have him aboard, Elon Musk rejects the offer to join Twitter’s board. He continues with his tweets ludicrous enough that some of his followers even think that the Twitter peak is about to end.
14 April | From Shareholder to Owner
As impulsive and aggressive as he is, Elon comes out of nowhere – amidst preposterous tweets about the platform – offers to buy Twitter at $54.20 per share (about $43 billion in total).
15 April | Twitter Threw In a Poison Pill
Twitter instantaneously takes a defense strategy to prevent the Musk acquisition. The Poison Pill offers discounted shares to its current stockholders to dilute the stake of any individual or entity who owns more than 15% of the company’s shares.
16 April | Elon’s Twitter’s board owns almost no shares Ignited a Rebuttal
In an attempt to dilute the billionaire businessman’s stake, Twitter executives try to intimidate and discourage Elon Musk. But as a naturally stubborn genius, Elon responds with his sarcastic sense of humor.
25 April | Twitter Eventually Succumbs
A Twitter-Musk business deal starts to brew. The company finally agrees to draft a legal acquisition agreement at $44 billion.
29 April | Tesla Stocks for Twitter Stocks
As the deal is being finalized, Musk liquidates about $8.5 billion worth of Tesla stocks to start collating the needed funds for the acquisition.
06 May | Commitments and Promises
Musk seeks support from his connections to secure the financial bid. He received commitments from Larry Ellison (Oracle co-founder), Sequoia Capital (venture capital firm), and Binance (cryptocurrency exchange platform). As support starts to pour in, Elon reassures them with a quintupled Twitter revenue by 2028.
13 May | A Temporary Setback
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold”, Elon Musk yet again stirs the corporate and cyber world as he announces a possible deal call-off.
26 May | Lawsuit Against Musk
Musk attempts to back out from the $44B deal because of the bot and spam issues. However, Twitter responds with a class-action lawsuit over alleged stock manipulation.
06 June | Demand for Details
A legal war starts to intensify as Musk demands more details but Twitter claims disclosed information is sufficient “in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement.”
08 July | Geared Towards Termination
Elon Musk stands his ground and is now more likely to officially terminate the Twitter acquisition contract, still focusing on the issue of fake Twitter accounts.
12 July | Twitter Sues, Musk Refuses
Twitter files a legal complaint to the Chancery Court in Delaware, demanding Musk to fulfill his end of the deal. Twitter’s legal team argues “Elon Musk knowingly, intentionally, willfully, and materially breached the Agreement.” But apparently, Musk refuses to honor his obligations.
17 July | Musk’s Team Requested Trial Date be Moved
Twitter initially requested a trial in September – before the merger agreement terminates on October 25. Musk’s team appeals a trial must not be started until February of next year.
29 July | Delaware Court Issued Official Trial Dates
The Delaware Court of Chancery releases an official statement about the Twitter-Musk acquisition deal trial schedule – October 17 – 21, 2022..
03 August | More Big Names Dragged in the Lawsuit
Investors, associates, and friends of Elon have been dragged by Twitter into this legal mess. The list includes Marc Andreessen (A16Z founder), Chamath Palihapitiya (Social Capital CEO), David Sacks (Craft Ventures co-founder), Stephen Jurvetson (Tesla and SpaceX board member), and more.
22 August | A Whistleblower Dropped a Bomb Amid the Legal War
In the midst of this controversial legal dispute, Peiter Zatko exposes Twitter’s flaws, vulnerabilities, and alleged cover-ups. Peter is a well-known former hacker and the former security head of Twitter.
24 August | Twitter-Musk Spotlight Shifted to Agrawal-Zatko
The heat temporarily shifts to the current and former Twitter security heads as Parag Agrawal (current head) lashes out at the false claims of Peiter Zatko (former head).
25 August | Washington Judge Orders Data Hand Over
A United States Judge, Kathaleen McCormick, ordered Twitter to provide Musk with some additional data on the 9,000 accounts audited late last year.
27 August | Twitter Whistleblower Subpoenaed
Musk’s legal team subpoenas Twitter whistleblower Zatko, requiring him to appear for a deposition on September 9.
29 August | Additional Termination Notice
Elon Musk’s legal team submitted another letter of termination, making the $44B Twitter deal call-off more official.
17 October | The Big Day
As of this writing, Twitter executives, Musk’s legal team, and the whole world are patiently waiting for the court trial. If Twitter wins, Musk must settle the $44B acquisition and take over the company and all its flaws (if proven true). If Musk wins and is permitted to abandon the deal, he might still be forced to pay a $1B fee.
The Green Billionaire’s Attention (Obsession): What Makes Twitter Special?
In the second quarter of the year, the corporate world and virtual space have been both stirred up by the sudden and out-of-the-blue interest of Elon Musk on Twitter. Such interest has gradually escalated to not just mere partnership or co-ownership but a total take-over.
Elon Musk is known for his bold visions and aggressive strategies. But an impulsive $44B acquisition deal is not a joke, hence the various versions of the “Why Twitter?” question from everyone – followers, fans, and critics of Elon Musk. Let’s take a closer look at this now controversial social networking platform from a regular user’s perspective, as well as from a visionary entrepreneur’s point of view.
Twitter as a Platform
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Elon Musk stated when he initially expressed his interest on Twitter.
This makes a lot of sense since Twitter is one of the most popular and widely used social networking platforms. This microblogging site’s vast market, real-time updates, and innovative features naturally attract not just individual users but also businesses and organizations.
Twitter is an open-source accessible platform that offers a safe and secure environment for anyone to voice out their ideas, thoughts, and opinions. (This is at least before the accusations filed by the famed hacker and Twitter Whistleblower Peiter Zatko).
Twitter as a Software
Like most sites and apps of its kind, Twitter uses cutting-edge technologies and multi-layered algorithms to deliver satisfactory experiences to its users. What sets it apart is that it offers an option to browse through tweets or pages using the default Twitter algorithm or a customized one based on the user’s preferences.
The tech genius himself believes in the overall architecture of Twitter programming. But like how he’s always been so proactive and innovative, Elon Musk also believes “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company”.
Twitter as a Business
“Even if there aren’t the number of users there he thought there were, Twitter is still a franchise and still has value.” This is what Elon Musk admitted as another reason for taking over Twitter (next to it being a great platform to exercise freedom of speech).
Right before the Twitter acquisition fiasco, this social platform’s shares were trading below $54.20 (the price Elon offered). However, Twitter did hit highs of $70/share last year. Its 12-month ending revenue on June 30, 2022 was $5.23 billion – a 17.45% increase year-over-year. So from an entrepreneur’s POV, Twitter is, indeed, a great investment.
Beyond the Controversial Twitter Deal: Who is Elon Musk?
Way before the Twitter acquisition deal, Elon Musk is one of the most popular and most followed business tycoons. Let’s take a closer look at his personal life and other works.
Elon Musk at a Glance
Elon Reeve Musk was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. He briefly attended the University of Pretoria and Queen’s University. He then got his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Physics at the University of Pennsylvania.
To date, Musk’s net worth is $255.1 billion, and is named “The Richest Man in the World”. He has survived decades in the industry and without a doubt, has made a name for himself. And being a visionary and a businessman at the same time, he earned several nicknames and aliases along the way – Real-Life Tony Stark, The Green Billionaire, Teflon Elon, Elona Musk, Master of Coin, and just recently, Technoking of Tesla.
Ventures/Projects/Businesses Associated with Elon Musk
- Zip2 (1995)
- PayPal (1999)
- SpaceX (2002)
- DeepMind Technologies (2010)
- Tesla Motors (2004)
- OpenAI (2015)
- Neuralink (2016)
- The Boring Company (2017)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is Elon Musk worth?
No one knows for sure how much money does Elon Musk have (at least not the exact cash amount). But on the latest ranking where he was named the richest man in the world, Elon Musk’s net worth was said to be around 255 billion USD.
Is Elon Musk twitter a real account?
Yes, the Elon Musk Twitter account (@elonmusk) is a genuine and verified one. Elon is one of the most social media-active well-established entrepreneurs and business titans. He personally creates and shares posts, as well as comments and interacts with other users.
Why does Elon Musk want to buy Twitter?
Elon Musk claimed he basically believed – with certain enhancements and alterations – Twitter is a great venue for freedom of speech. He also added that it’s a promising business that can potentially generate large income with proper – better – management.
Is Elon Musk buying Twitter?
To date, Elon sticks by the termination letter that his legal team has served. Whether he can call off the agreement or has to fulfill his end of the deal is still technically pending. The trial for the merger agreement between Twitter and Musk is yet to start until October 17.