Elon Musk Buys 9.2% Stake in Twitter, Now He is Largest Shareholder

Elon Musk now owns a significant portion of Twitter. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the Tesla CEO purchased a 9.2 percent stake in the social media site on March 14. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk has become the social network’s largest shareholder as a result of his stock acquisition.

According to CNBC, the shares are worth $2.89 billion based on Twitter’s closing price on Friday. On Monday, Twitter’s shares climbed more than 27%, finishing at $49.97.

Musk is one of Twitter’s most active users, and he’s used his clout to cast doubt on the platform’s dedication to free speech. He polled his 80.2 million followers on March 25 to see if they thought Twitter “rigorously adheres” to the principle of free expression. More than 70% of those polled said no.

Musk was alluding to the US Constitution’s First Amendment free speech rights, which only apply to government restriction of expression. Twitter, as a business, decides what can be posted on its platforms, compels users to agree to terms of service when they sign up, and has the authority to delete individuals who disobey its rules.

Musk responded on March 26 by inquiring if a new platform is needed and told a follower that he is “considering” launching one. The tweet was published over two weeks after the date on his SEC filing for his Twitter investment.

Musk’s plans with Twitter are unclear, but his investment in the firm could have an impact on its long-term strategy.

“Specifically, Musk might try to influence the platform’s openness and how it manages content, or he could push to invest more aggressively in the subscription model,” Ali Mogharabi, a senior equity analyst for Morningstar, wrote in a note on Monday. Last year, Twitter launched Twitter Blue, a $3-per-month subscription service that allows users to undo messages, read ad-free content, and access other services.

Twitter has been going through a lot of changes in terms of leadership. Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, stood down as the company’s CEO in November. Parag Agrawal, who previously served as Twitter’s chief technical officer, has taken over as CEO. In 2021, Twitter reported $5 billion in annual revenue, with 217 million daily users who see advertisements. In 2023, Twitter wants to generate at least $7.5 billion in annual revenue and have 315 million users.

Musk has a sizable Twitter following, but some of his posts have gotten him into trouble. When Musk promised his then-22 million Twitter followers that he was ready to take Tesla private in 2018, he ran into legal trouble with the SEC. Musk was sued by the commission for making “false and misleading” representations to Tesla’s investors.

They came to an agreement in which Musk and Tesla each paid $20 million and the SEC was given control over some of Musk’s social media posts. Musk’s lawyers have argued that the oversight regime has proven ineffective since then, and have sought a federal judge to terminate the settlement.

A request for comment from Twitter was not immediately returned. Musk tweeted, “Oh hi lol,” in response to Monday’s announcement regarding his Twitter holdings. Later in the day, he asked, “Do you want an edit button?” on Twitter.

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