'Free speech absolutist' Elon Musk to buy Twitter in $44 billion deal
- Twitter on Monday agreed to sell itself to Elon Musk in a $44 billion deal
- Musk had announced his desire to buy the micro-blogging company on April 14
- The deal was finally agreed after weeks of sparring between Musk and Twitter board members
The deal was confirmed on April 26, after weeks of speculation and drama over a possible Musk takeover.
Musk, the world's richest man and an active Twitter user, became the largest shareholder of the Jack Dorsey-founded microblogging platform on April 4, triggering speculation about a possible takeover in the near future.
The speculation proved to be right, as Musk, on April 14, formally declared his intention to purchase the company for $43 billion, which, in turn, led the Twitter board to express its displeasure at the move and adopt a so-called poison pill defence.
Reports suggest that Musk's Twitter takeover is unlikely to be face any serious scrutiny from competition authorities in the US as the billionaire's business interests - his electric car company Tesla, his reusable rocket company SpaceX, and his tunneling firm Boring Company - do not clash with that of Twitter, which operates in the social media space.
That being said, Musk's takeover of the widely used micro-blogging platform, which has more than 217 million daily active users and exerts considerable influence on political and media agendas, is likely to spark reactions from critics and politicians alike, especially given the 50-year-old's strict stance on free speech.
Earlier, Musk had clashed with US politicians after his refusal to censor Russian media outlets in Ukraine: "Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist," the billionaire had said.