Elon Musk completes $44-billion Twitter deal: "Let the good times roll"

San Francisco, California - Elon Musk on Friday completed his $44-billion takeover of Twitter, ending months of legal drama but opening a new chapter of uncertainty for the influential social media platform.

Elon Musk now describes himself as "Chief Twit" in his Twitter bio.
Elon Musk now describes himself as "Chief Twit" in his Twitter bio.  © REUTERS

As part of the filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, Twitter confirmed reports that its deal with the tech billionaire and Tesla boss had closed.

"Let the good times roll," Musk tweeted Friday morning.

The notification to the SEC said the takeover became "effective" on Thursday. The filing was necessary for San Francisco-based Twitter to be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, as Musk is taking Twitter private.

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The Tesla CEO spent his first day on the job cleaning house. The new era started with the firing of chief executive officer Parag Agrawal, finance chief Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy.

There are also reports that Musk plans to cut thousands of jobs at the company.

Shortly after the reports broke late Thursday, Musk tweeted, "the bird is freed."

Elon Musk warned about European regulations

Musk tried to allay any advertisers fears with an open letter.
Musk tried to allay any advertisers fears with an open letter.  © REUTERS

Among Musk's most highly anticipated decisions is whether he will restore Donald Trump's account, as he has suggested could happen.

The former president and incessant tweeter was permanently suspended from the platform last year after the attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.

"I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country," Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Friday, hardly easing concerns.

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Many are worried that the change in ownership will result in an explosion of hate speech on the platform. Musk is at least somewhat aware of what that would mean for advertisers, which is why he tried to address any fears with an open letter on Thursday.

At least as far as the European Union is concerned, any potential hands-off approach to hateful content will not fly. Europe's Digital Services Act means companies have to moderate their platforms for harmful content like disinformation and introduce protocols to block the spread of dangerous material during crises like the Covid-19 pandemic. They must also increase transparency regarding interactions with users and simplify user agreements.

"In Europe, the bird will fly by our [EU] rules," European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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