Elon Musk, the
world’s richest man
, had decided to buy Twitter, one of the world’s most
influential social media platforms, for $44 billion. The deal has now fallen
with Musk deciding that he no longer wants to buy the company because
he feels Twitter was not forthright in providing details on bot accounts.
Twitter, initially hesitant to be bought out by Musk, has now gone to court in
a bid to force Musk’s hand
to buy the platform.

Also Read | Why is Elon Musk backing out of Twitter deal

The Elon
Musk-Twitter saga has occupied a large bit of the world wide web over the last
few months. News of a single individual, the world’s richest person, securing
the complete ownership of a company with 330 million users across the world moved
markets, if not mountains.  

April 5, 2022

In March this year,
Elon Musk made a passing remark, that he was going to buy a 9.2% stake in
Twitter. For those who had followed Musk’s tweets about Twitter until then,
Musk’s remark seemed ironic. He had slammed Twitter for the lack of an edit
option and had wide-ranging criticisms of the platform’s moderation and

“Given that
Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free
speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk had said, asking, “What
should be done?”

On April 5, 2022,
Musk announced that he had bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter. Parag Agrawal, the
Twitter CEO, announced, “I’m excited to share that we’re appointing @elonmusk
to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear
to us that he would bring great value to our Board.”

While welcoming
Musk to Twitter’s board, the company also changed policy to ensure Musk, who
had already become the largest shareholder, does not acquire over 14.9% of the
company, so that the billionaire does not have undue influence on the company.

April 11,

Just two days
after being welcomed into Twitter’s board, Musk said he would not join. CEO
Agrawal had to make a volte-face and say that it was “for the best”. His
decision to not join the board was an indication that he was going to attempt
to exercise greater control over the company.

April 14,

Musk tweeted a
short message saying he had made an offer to the Twitter board to acquire the
company for $40 billion. Musk’s offer also had the clause that this was the
best offer he would make and if Twitter were to reject it, it would be “utterly
indefensible not to put this to a shareholder vote.”

Writing to Twitter
chair Brett Taylor, Musk stated: “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.

He went on to add:
“Twitter needs to be transformed into a private company.”

May 13, 2022

This is when the
Musk-Twitter trouble officially began. Elon Musk put his bid to buy Twitter ‘on
hold’ pending an investigation into the proportion of bots on the social media
platform. Since 2014, Twitter has maintained that the proportion of bots on the
platform is no higher than 5%. Musk’s announcement made Twitter shares fall
sharply by around 25% and Twitter shareholders decided they would sue Musk for
stock manipulation.

June 8, 2022

Musk had been
going on and on about how Twitter was not being forthright about bots on its
platform. To counter the allegations, Twitter offered Musk access to its firehouse
API – effectively all data related to concurrent users. This was done in a bid
to stave off Musk’s desire to walk away from the deal.

July 8, 2022

Elon Musk announced
he was walking away from the deal. This, according to Musk, was because of ‘multiple
breaches’ in the agreement. His chief complaint remained the number of bots on
the platform. On the very same day, Twitter announced it was removing 1 million
bot accounts. Twitter still maintains that bots form just about 5% of the
platform’s accounts. When Musk decided to walk away from the deal, Twitter sued
him, not for the million dollars Musk is required to pay to walk away, but for
him to complete the purchase.