“The bird is freed”“So this is how it ends, not with a bang but with a cardboard box and a kitchen sink” – Parag, probs, after Elon sent the CEO packing as his first order of business as the new CEO of Twitter.
- Yep, it happened folks. Elon bought Twitter. It’s done. The $44bn journey is finally over, and what a journey it's been. A slew of reports and a cryptic Tweet reading “the bird is freed” say that Musk is now sat in the comfy chair in HQ, having completed his buyout and promptly dismissed many of the company’s top brass – CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal among them.
- In true Elon fashion, he released a Tweet making clear his motivations for the buyout, saying in a message to “Twitter Advertisers” that his ultimate goal is to “help humanity” not to make money. While many suspected the platform would lean more to the right under his leadership, he says it mustn't “become a free-for-all hellscape” but a place where “a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner”.
- Shares closed Thursday at $53.70 but have now been suspended on the NYSE – the stock saw a stunning October rally and closed only $0.50 away from Musk’s purchase price of $54.20. The paperwork’s set to go through on Friday, and the new CEO has renamed himself on Twitter as Chief Twit – that’s probs where we’ll get platform updates, of which we’re sure there will be many indeed.
Daniel Oberhaus / Wikimedia Commons
Another twist in the Twitter sagaTwitter investors are desperately asking “are we there yet” as the constant twists and turns of Elon’s takeover make them queasy.
- The social media stock sank nearly 5% on Friday for its worst day since mid-August amid a slew of media reports claiming Musk plans to cut 75% of Twitter’s 7.5k workforce if he goes ahead with his takeover – a former exec said the cuts would be so drastic that users would be exposed to security threats and less moderation.
- Making matters worse, Biden’s administration is looking into all things Musk, according to Bloomberg. Apparently there’s concern over his seemingly Russia-friendly tweets and his Starlink network in Ukraine, as well as around his buying Twitter with a group of foreign investors – officials are weighing the possibility of a national security review into his multiple ventures.
- Elsewhere, possible competitors are popping up for a Musk-led Twitter. The extremely right-wing Kanye West is acquiring conservative social media service Parler, which would have the same focus on “free speech” as Twitter if Musk buys it. Additionally, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is launching another social media platform called Bluesky that’ll have a decentralized Twitter vibe.
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A little bird told meTears have been brought to the eyes of Twitter shareholders as Elon makes one final (they hope) decision on his $44bn buyout.
- The Musk-Twitter saga looks like it might finally be coming to an end as Elon has said that he will once again purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share. There’s been a lot of back and forth since it was first proposed on April 4th, but the $44bn deal finally looks like it’s going to go ahead.
- The excitement caused the company’s share price to surge by over 20% on Tuesday, becoming so volatile that shares had to be halted for a few hours before jumping again at the end of the day. Elon was due to appear in court against Twitter on October 17 for backing out of the deal, so many are wondering what’s changed his mind.
- As is usually the case with Elon, the market fallout was wide. DOGE jumped by almost 10% on the news while DWAC (the SPAC that’s going to take Trump’s social media platform public) dropped more than 5%. Say what you will about Elon, but he knows how to steal the show.
Cryptocurrency News / Flickr
Keeping up with ElonThings are getting heated in the world of Elon Musk for both his EV biz and his Twitter deal. Oh, who are we kidding, things have been heated here for a while.
- We’ll start with the fundamental stuff – Tesla’s deliveries. The EV leader reported Q3 vehicle production and delivery numbers, and while they came in at a record high, the 343,830 deliveries still missed Elon’s previous forecast – the company cited the same old supply snarls and macro pressures as everyone else, but also says Tesla is aiming for “steadier” deliveries in Q4.
- Elsewhere in Elonland, we got insight into how the rich text about their billions when a series of Musk’s personal texts were revealed in his court case against Twitter. There was many a revealing message in there, including the fact that the social platform’s founder Jack Dorsey doesn't even think it should be a company anymore – which is unlikely to help the brand's case.
- Elon Musk and Twitter will soon be facing off in court if the two aren’t able to reach a settlement agreement first over the $44bn deal – a settlement that, despite the hostility in texts between its CEO the technoking, analysts say is increasingly likely. If it goes to trial, that’ll kick off on October 18, and Twitter shares closed up 13% in September in anticipation.
A piercing whistleblow turns headsTwitter doesn't know which way to look as a whistleblower takes the stand with a scathing testimony while shareholders place their votes on the Musk deal.
- The Twitter whistleblower threw some rather damning accusations toward the platform when he took the stand at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, former security chief for Twitter, said that the platform prioritizes "profits over security" – given its status as a public forum and de facto town hall, such shortcomings are particularly worrying when they’re from Twitter.
- Despite, or because of, all that – Twitter shareholders have voted in favor of Musk completing his planned $44bn acquisition, though the ongoing court case between the two still looms large. Zatko’s testimony could make it easier for Musk to back out despite the shareholder vote, and a judge has already allowed Musk to revise his counterclaims to include yesterday’s testimony.
- Shares escaped the damaging blow that CPI data dealt tech stocks, lifting nearly 1% on Tuesday. Meta emerged as one of the worst bruised with a near 10% drop, partly as investors eyed a concerning report showing Meta’s Reels endeavors are struggling and the platform is losing the engagement-battle to TikTok, prompting a bunch of analysts downgrades.
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Another tug in the warRobert the Bruce, King of Scotland, once said: “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”. Well, hate to break it to you Bob, but that strategy just ain’t working for Elon Musk.
- Elon Musk’s legal team is gonna be able to afford a social platform of their own after all their 2022 billables come in. The billionaire last week sent his third letter to try and nix his $44bn Twitter deal, alleging that a $7.75m severance payout to whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko is a breach of the terms of the takeover agreement.
- Predictably, Twitter responded by saying that argument is invalid and the payment did not breach any obligations, reiterating its determination to close the deal at the agreed upon price. It’s the latest in what is becoming a tedious battle between the pair, and Tuesday’s testimony from the whistleblower himself is likely to further complicate matters.
- Shareholders are also set to vote on Tuesday on the proposed takeover and are widely expected to vote in favor of the deal, tho the court case is still looming and could still derail the merger – today’s court hearings will likely be closely watched by not just Twitter investors but Wall Street at large, and TWTR inched down yesterday in anticipation.
The struggles of social mediaAs if a brutal earnings season wasn’t enough for social media investors to handle, they’re now trying to digest more failed deals, trashed segments and staff cuts. We miss the 2010s.
- Elon Musk has sent a second deal termination notice for his $44bn Twitter buyout. Last week a whistleblower alleged a bunch of sus things going on at Twitter, including a claim that they’ve no idea about their bot situation – forming the basis of this termination notice. The whistleblower has been subpoenaed by both parties in their current court case, so we’re sure to hear more.
- Snap investors feel downtrodden too after more layoff news, adding to the social media ennui. The platform is planning to lay off around 20% of its roughly 6.5k employees starting Wednesday – the brand hopes the decision will make room for its turnaround plan, which includes growing its user base, improving its ad business and finding new revenue sources.
- Completing the social trifecta, Meta is reporting its latest failure. Only two years after Facebook launched its own gaming app to try and compete with Amazon’s Twitch, the brand is shutting down the segment completely after failing to do so. It’s the latest in a bunch of changes, including the end of its live shopping feature and to switch focus to Reels.
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Whistling to Elon’s tuneThe circus that is Twitter and Elon Musk’s deal sees another performer walk onto center stage whistling a rhapsodic but accusatory melody.
- A Twitter whistleblower has entered the chat. Former security lead Peiter Zatko has alleged that Twitter has neither the resources nor the motivation to find out how many bots are on the platform, as well as saying it has a range of other security vulnerabilities that it’s been ignoring for years – tho it has to be said that he provided little evidence to that effect.
- The assertions sure put a gleeful grin on Elon Musk’s face (a fact he happily shared on Twitter, obvi) given that’s been a key concern in his dispute with Twitter – well, so he says anyway. Musk’s lawyers are expected to raise the issue in court as soon as today to further their case to either delay the pair’s October trial or get out of the buyout entirely.
- Twitter shares dumped over 7% on Tuesday to close at an August low, so investors seem certain it’ll have a material impact on the trial. On top of that, Musk subpoenaed his friend and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey for internal correspondence related to spam – Dorsey’s made his Musk allegiance clear, so Twitter could be in for some trouble.
DoD / Wikimedia Commons
We doing this thing or what?Our Elon sure does love to publicly declare a challenge, starting the year by proposing a fight with Vladimir Putin and now looking to debate with Twitter’s CEO.
- It was a busy weekend for anyone following all the drama between Twitter and Elon Musk over his $44bn buyout, and followed news of a countersuit from Musk and Twitter sending subpoenas to a bunch of famous people involved in the deal that they think could have some stories to tell about Elon – who were not happy to be dragged in.
- Elon just can’t get over those damn bots. The billionaire this weekend accused Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal of stonewalling him and giving him fake bot data before challenging him to a public debate on the topic – obvs this all happened on Twitter itself, which is both hilarious and part of the stuff that Twitter is objecting to in the lawsuit.
- At least Musk has given us some clarity here tho, saying that the deal will go ahead with its original terms if Twitter just confirms some deetz about how it measures whether accounts are real people. Share prices actually seem to be loving the drama atm and have seen gains in all but three sessions in the last month to trade at their highest level since early May.
I hereby challenge
to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage.
Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!
And the line goes flatTwitter’s share price shows no sign of life after its latest earnings report misses basically all expectations, largely blaming (hold your gasps) the Elon Musk drama.
- Twitter edged up 0.8% on Friday to close at $39.84 while other social media stocks saw losses on the back of Snap’s scary earnings. Twitter missed on both ends in Q2, reporting LPS of $0.08 vs estimates for EPS of $0.14, on revenues that slid 1% YoY to hit $1.18bn – on top of that, monetizable daily active users of 237.8m missed forecasts too.
- Elon Musk-related uncertainty is partly to blame for declining numbers, apparently. The company said costs related to that controversy came in at around $33m, with severance-related expenses, the economy, and a decline in advertising revenue taking the rest of the blame – tbf, that ad revenue is becoming a real stitch in all media stocks’ side.
- Added to all that, Twitter canceled its earnings call and refused to give forward-looking guidance for the current quarter because of its pending acquisition deal with Elon Musk – some analysts say the deal has been irking advertisers too, and it’s not just Apple’s privacy changes reducing ad spend. Twitter and Musk are set to fight it out in court on October 5th.
Christian Lue / Unsplash
Round 1 to TwitterDing ding ding – the first round in the Musk vs Twitter battle has just been called, and let’s just say Elon has some regrouping to do.
- A judge has sided with Twitter in the first decision of what is sure to be a considerably complicated court case between the social platform and Elon Musk. It all started when Elon decided to pull out of his $44bn buy of the platform, and Twitter said “not today” and filed a court case against him to try to force him to go ahead with the deal.
- Musk was like cool, but only next year pls. The billionaire applied to delay the court case until 2023 to allow for an in-depth discovery of the actual amount of bots on the platform, but a judge has decided Twitter deserves a quick decision here and has actually expedited the process – the battle will now continue in a 5-day fast-tracked trial in October.
- A judge ruled that a “delay threatens irreparable harm to the sellers" and would leave an unfair “cloud of uncertainty” hanging over the business. Given share prices have declined nearly 40% since the deal was announced, it’s prolly fair to say it’s affecting the business.
Victor Gonzalez Couso / Flickr
We’ll see you in courtIn a not-at-all shocking twist, Elon Musk’s decided he wants out of his Twitter deal, but CEO Parag Agrawal ain't gonna let things go that easily.
- Twitter fell 5% to hit a July low on Friday after Elon Musk officially terminated his Twitter deal following weeks of rather publicly sharing his buyer’s remorse with the world. His increasingly busy legal team sent a letter to Twitter on Friday afternoon, saying that they had failed to comply with their obligations set out in the merger agreement.
- It’s all about those damn bots – says Elon anyway. The lawyer representing Musk said Twitter hasn’t given them the info they demanded to prove that over 5% of users on the platform are spam accounts, and said that the merger contract itself contains “materially inaccurate representations”. Meanwhile, Twitter's trading 32% lower than his purchase price.
- Twitter’s response? See ya in court, Mr Musk. Its CEO tweeted that the board “is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon” and is reportedly willing to “go to war” to make sure things go ahead as planned. Despite this already feeling like the longest deal ever, we fear this may only be the beginning of the drama.
Talk about an Elongated dealTwitter has a bit of a tumble after hearing its future is still somewhat up in the air, as Musk continues to fret over fake accounts.
- Twitter shares fell over 4% in extended trading on Thursday to partly reverse a modest four-day winning streak. The losses arrived on the back of an Elon Musk update – gasp – which indicated that his $44bn buy could be “in peril”. Shares are now trading at around $38, a ways away from the $54.20 per share he offered for the platform.
- He’s still beefing with execs over spam and fake accounts on the platform, and according to the Washington Post, Musk’s team has decided the data Twitter gave them on the matter was not verifiable and are now considering his next moves – which could mean abandoning the deal altogether.
- Twitter ain’t gonna take the drama lying down tho. The company and its execs have doubled down on defending the fact that there are no more than 5% of bots on the platform, with CEO Parag Agrawal assuring users that they get rid of over 1000 fake accounts a day and basically out Elon Musk for what a lot of people think is a stalling tactic to get out of the purchase.
Victor Gonzalez Couso / Flickr
Twitter’s balancing actTwitter prices are trying not to make any sudden moves as they try to balance both a larger-than-life buyer and growth of the core business.
- Twitter and Shopify announced a team-up on Wednesday. The two are creating a “Twitter Shopping” add-on, which will let merchants have direct links to products on their Twitter profiles and basically turn it into their own little online store. Twitter wants in on online shopping revenues, and Shopify gets a whole new customer base. Win-win.
- The online network also rolled out its long-form “Notes” feature, which will let you publish articles that are over its typical 280 characters. It’s only been launched in a small test group in four countries rn, but just imagine what all those crypto-hack sleuths are gonna be able to do with that extra space when it goes wide.
- Shares failed to get too excited, closing down 0.98%. Prices, investors, and execs alike are kinda holding their breath to see what Elon will do about his $44bn buy. He says the three issues that need resolving rn are: Earning shareholder approval, obtaining debt financing, and getting answers to his questions about spam and fake accounts.
Elon digs into his pocketsIt’s been a rocky road since Elon (kind of) committed to buying Twitter, but the latest intel suggests he’s still behind seeing the deal through.
- TWTR spiked 7% in extended trading after a new filing let it slip that Elon is increasing his personal input into buying the social media site from $27.5bn to $33.5bn. That’s a lot of personal cash fronted by someone who is rumored to be getting cold feet about the whole thing.
- Since the initial takeover agreement was reached, Elon put the deal on hold on May 13 after believing the board misled him on how many bots take up the platform (they think it’s 5%, he thinks it’s anywhere between 20-90%).
- Twitter is now trading basically exactly where it was pre-takeover. Clearly, the quarreling going on behind the scenes has affected investor confidence, and now it's trading at around $40 – a good 26% down from Elon’s buyout price of $54.20. Investors and peeps alike are begging the question – is he just looking for a discount?
Roberto Sorin / Unsplash
There’s beef over botsThis week, on Keeping up with Elon, our fave controversial billionaire is trying to get a discount on his Twitter purchase as he beefs with its CEO over bots on the platform. Never a dull day.
- Twitter stock dumped over 8% on Monday after spending most of last week in freefall, sinking more than 18% – shares are now trading down at around $37, their lowest levels since March 21 and down over 30% from the $54.20 Musk bought the platform for.
- Which could be why he’s now angling for a discount. After putting the deal on pause last week, Elon implied there may be a deal negotiation on the way after saying that it’s “not out of the question” that he will look to pay a lower price for the platform – that’s if it goes through at all…
- He’s in the middle of a spat with Parag Agrawal. The CEO (and Reuters) claim that less than 5% of accounts on Twitter are fake, but Elon thinks it’s more like 20% and says the deal “cannot go forward” unless the company can prove there are less than 5% bots – which investors reckon could just be a cover for his buyer’s remorse.
Elon tweets up stormElon sends Twitter into turmoil by announcing that his buyout of the platform is still hanging in the balance – and investors ain’t happy.
- Twitter tumbled nearly 10% on Friday in its biggest move since Musk’s deal went public, taking shares to a near six-week low of $40 – down over 25% from the platform's purchase price – after sending Twitter into chaos with a tweet.
- Elon’s $44bn buyout is “temporarily on hold”, he said on Friday, citing an investigation into the proportion of fake/bot accounts on the platform. It comes after a Reuters report that estimated less than 5% of users are fake, but Musk has his own team testing out that theory bc he thinks its way more than that.
- He says he’s “still committed” to the deal, but some investors are wondering if this is a stalling tactic and Musk may be thinking he could have bought the platform at a cheaper price. That being said, we doubt anyone understands the inner workings of Elon’s brain.
Raychel Sanner / Unsplash
Here’s the Twitter teaWith all this market mayhem going on, the world’s fave eccentric Techno-king and his Twitter antics have almost slipped under the radar – but not quite. Let’s see what he’s up to.
- Twitter shares are down at around $46 as of Thursday’s close, down over 13% from the $54.20 that Musk bought the social platform for (which was also its most recent high) and representing a $9bn gap in market cap.
- Analysts reckon investors are worried about regulatory setbacks. While the board has approved the purchase, it could still take months to go through, and the Information reported that the FTC is looking into the timing of Musk’s buy – specifically, that he took longer than the SEC requires to divulge his stake.
- Meanwhile, hiring freezes and exec shake ups abound with Musk wasting no time in making changes at Twitter. The company recently said it will be pausing all hiring and pulling back big time on non-labor costs, as two top execs leave the company.
Christian Lue / Unsplash
Funding with a side of cryptoElon is using his connections to bulk out his GoFundMe Twitter pot, and this one comes with a crypto twist.
- Elon Musk garnered over $7bn in fresh financing for his Twitter deal – all while rocking the red carpet with his mom at the Met Gala – with over 19 investors like Sequoia Capital piling into the fund, all of which reduces the personal risk he has to take to complete the deal. One investor in particular has a crypto-specific agenda…
- Binance has contributed $500m to help fund Elon’s Twitter deal – CEO Changpeng Zhao hopes the investment will support Binance’s goal to make crypto more mainstream. Zhao wants to see the social media giant adopt web3 and blockchain technology in earnest, and is making sure his voice is heard.
- How’s the takeover going so far? Rumors coming out of Twitter HQ suggest Elon’s gonna take Parag Agrawal's place as CEO for a while to oversee efforts to put his stamp on the platform. While it’s clear Musk will be taking Twitter private, further rumors are swirling of another IPO within just 3 years. It’s subtweets-galore out there atm.
Heisenberg Media / Flickr
Twitter shares settle into the nestTwitter has been the talk of the town recently thanks to good old Elon, but now that it’s waiting to move to its new private home, shares are pretty relaxed about a revenue miss.
- Shares gained just under 1% on Thursday, a pretty muted reaction to the social media platform missing on the top line with revenue that was up 16% at $1.2bn, though it did manage to marginally beat on the bottom end with EPS of $0.04 – there’s some speculation that they were keen to close the Musk deal before the disappointing quarter.
- Let’s talk about user count. Its monetizable daily active users (dMUAs) beat forecasts at 229m, 30m of which signed up in the run-up to the Musk deal. But, it also divulged a major mishap – turns out Twitter has been miscounting its users for three years because of a technical error, marking the second time such an error has taken place. Oops.
- Twitter isn’t giving out guidance anymore as it waits for the Elon takeover, which may be a good thing for the brand considering advertising revenue – which is how social media companies make most of their cash – is on the downturn as European advertisers pull back their campaigns in the face of war. But, with Musk coming on board, who knows what huge changes await.
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