Since April, we have been following Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter for 44 billion USD. It seems that we week by week, Musk’s public image erodes further and further. A couple of years ago, the billionaire was the toast of Reddit. His actions and public comments were met with widespread praise, and he was considered one of the most brilliant men of his generation. Since then, some truths have come to light. Mainly, his image of a “self-made billionaire” is utterly false; his family owned emerald minds in Apartheid South Africa. He recently revealed that his promises to build the Hyperloop between northern and southern California were never genuine, meaning that public officials have delayed important infrastructure projects for nothing. Most recently, he has attempted his hand at geopolitics by giving Ukrainians his suggestions about how to end the war, and his suggestions were essentially pro-Russian propaganda. For all these reasons, this week has been a good week for those who dislike Musk. Musk is back to buying Twitter, and despite his best attempts to get out of the deal, he seems stuck.
The Back and Forth
Between Musk’s April offer and his recent agreement to uphold the terms of the offer, there has been a lot of public bad blood. Musk attempted to back out of the agreement soon after he announced his offer, justifying the withdrawal by saying that Twitter lied about the number of fake/bot accounts on its platform. Last week, less than two weeks before the trial was set to begin, Musk’s representatives surprised everybody by saying that Musk did, in fact, plan on closing the deal at the previously agreed amount. To say this is an embarrassment is an understatement. While we expect some amount of public statements during the negotiation process, Musk really stepped over the line by vehemently attacking the social platform. During the discovery process in preparation for the trial, reports suggest that things got ugly between the lawyers. He is now set to purchase a company whose reputation he did a good job of destroying. Moreover, most people within the company despise the man for what he put them through.
Musk, of course, has attempted to put a positive spin on the whole deal. Twitter is apparently part of his plan to accelerate “creating X, the everything app”. Despite Musk’s enthusiasm, no one knows whether that is a bona fide plan of Musk’s or yet another fleeting idea. There is so much distrust between Musk and Twitter that the company’s lawyers are seeking assurances from the court to ensure that Musk is not simply lying to delay the trial. And delays would hurt. Twitter has stated that they are suffering due to the public spat. The company is experiencing low morale, exits of key people, and overall business disruptions, all because of Elon Musk. The state of the company Musk ends up buying – if the deal does, in fact, go through – will be a shell of the company he proposed purchasing back in April. Musk has no one to blame for this result but himself.