back to article Elon Musk tells Twitter: My takeover deal is back on

Trading in shares of Twitter was halted today on news that Elon Musk has decided to revive his takeover of Twitter, which would involve buying the company at the originally agreed price of $54.20 per share and ending their legal squabbles.  Twitter's stock spiked more than 10 percent earlier when Bloomberg reported Musk had …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    hmm

    1, Make public offer to buy a company for a weed joke price

    2, Message boss of company slagging it off, using company's own product

    3, Claim you never said any of it when price tanks

    4, Profit ?

    I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps this isn't the world's smartest businessman ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmm

      Don't forget to make a scene when your 'Robot' is slammed by experts.

      TBH, he like his boss, El Trumpo, needs to learn to shut the hell up. This constant need to be in the media gets rather boring.

      If this comes to pass then good. He (or rather his goons) may well screw twitter up so badly that it collapses and he loses a lot of money. Then he can stick to running Tesla and SpaceX. Everything else is a diversion.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: hmm

        He may well screw twitter up so badly that it collapses

        God, if only Christmas would come so early.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Tesla minus Musk

        I think Tesla has reached the point where it would be better off without Musk. Tesla needs to stop promising big then under-delivering very late. Instead focus on consistent high quality and after sales support - areas where Tesla's reputation currently stinks.

        There are hints that my dream might actually come true. Musk's current cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-lie promise is that in return for Twitter ending the litigation Musk will pay up now IF the debt financing works. I assume this means that the bankers have found a way out of their debt financing agreement (banks lend Musk money to buy Twitter using Twitter as security for the loan). Without debt financing, Musk has to sell more Tesla shares, then sell even more to pay taxes on the profits of those sales. Normally he would borrow money using Tesla shares as collateral to avoid tax but he is already maxed out like that.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Tesla minus Musk

          I think Tesla has reached the point where it would be better off without Musk.

          Or possibly, Musk is bored of this toy. He seems to be falling out of love with Space X, as well. Musk certainly has energy, vision and determination. But it is his understanding of capital markets and the ability to "gorge" on cheap debt that has been the most important advantage for these companies. Unfortunately for him, the Fed announced the end of cheap debt earlier this year.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tesla minus Musk

            > Or possibly, Musk is bored of this toy.

            This is the right take. I.e. like a spoiled 2-year-old throwing a tantrum.

      3. Frank Bitterlich

        Re: hmm

        This constant need to be in the media gets rather boring.

        Come on, this time he's trying hard to get out of the media, or at least his private texts.

        It's like a billion-dollar "erase my browser history" attempt...

    2. DrSunshine0104

      Re: hmm

      I think, at least in the US as an American, there is a lot of hero worship of successful business leaders and that is confused with with being intelligent. Would I concede that Musk might be good at organization of people to produce a product, absolutely. I don't think that is really a question. But is HE the one with the brains? No, of course not, it is all the people he has hired that are the real brains. And that is absolutely okay. Not being the smartest person in the room doesn't mean your are not valuable to the organization or even the most valuable.

      Otherwise, the man is a fool with money as armor.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: hmm

        " I concede that Musk might be good at organization of people to produce a product," No, the management do that not Leon/.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hmm

        I think, at least in the US as an American, there is a lot of hero worship of successful business leaders and that is confused with with being intelligent.

        Half marks on that one; We somehow managed to elect a 'businessman' who managed to bankrupt a casino into public office, and who has a long history of failed businesses, skipping out on paying vendors, and other practices that should have landed him in jail a long time ago. But yet, here we are, cleaning up after that mess.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hmm

          And now you have a hugely corrupt, racist, hair sniffing, senile career politician puppet who has achieved nothing in many decades of politics apart from lining his own pocket. The world will be cleaning up after POTATUS for a very long time.

          1. MrDamage Silver badge

            Re: hmm

            Remind me, who was such a poor loser, he attempted a coup?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: hmm

              It wasn't an attempted coup, it worked. The 'cabal' of the DNC in collusion with big tech to 'fortify' the 2020 election. (using their own words)

              I assume you are actually referring to the mostly peaceful protests on Jan 6th 2021. Its not like someone brought a working guillotine to the white house with a trump effigy and beheaded it during the summer of love egged on by senior dems telling them to keep protesting and donating to bail funds.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hmm

        "Not being the smartest person in the room doesn't mean your are not valuable to the organization"

        ... unless you *think* you're the smartest person and make things worse for the people who actually are.

  2. Nick Gisburne

    You REALLY want me to buy you?

    First impressions at this news is that Musk is thinking:

    Okay, whether or not the price is good, I will OWN one of the world's most important communications platforms. If I've paid 5, 10, 15 billions more than I should? Whatever. It's all numbers. It's all Monopoly money. I will have Twitter, which gives me:

    (1) The power (He-Man)

    (2) The Force (Star Wars)

    (3) The eyes of the world (Twitter)

    I have so much money. I'll take it. You know you will regret this, right?

    In other news, shares in popcorn just went up. Chomp. Chomp.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: You REALLY want me to buy you?

      I will OWN one of the world's most important communications platforms.

      Err.. No. It's like FaceMelta in that regard. If you're addicted to anti-social media, it's important. If you're not, you can try finding RealNews elsewhere.

      As for popcorn.. What am I to do now? I was kinda looking forward to any of the bot detail that may or may not have been disclosed during the trial. Also curious from a legal perspective about what, if any practical recourse Musk might have to claw back some/any of the purchase price. Once he's taken control, he'll be able to play with bot data all he wants. Still curious how he's planning to finance the transaction, if the rumors are true.

      (Or given the Twatter's share price has just spiked, if he's planning to dump the shares he has now, and relocate is office to a non-extradiction country.)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: You REALLY want me to buy you?

        "Err.. No. It's like FaceMelta in that regard. If you're addicted to anti-social media, it's important. If you're not, you can try finding RealNews elsewhere."

        While I upvoted you because I feel the same way, I should point out that with so many people using Twitter and other social media, it really *is* a powerful communications medium. It may not be ii a few years. Or it may be bigger and even more powerful. But don't mistake the fact so many use social media to post pics of their lunch or general inane twaddle that it's not powerful. The printed press have known for years the power of a headline and how to make the inattentive think one thing while the real meat (and sometimes truth) is a few paragraphs further down where many never get to. Twitter is *just* the headlines. it doesn't even bother with the actual story, maybe a link that many don't follow, they just re-tweet the headline.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: You REALLY want me to buy you?

          While I upvoted you because I feel the same way, I should point out that with so many people using Twitter and other social media, it really *is* a powerful communications medium.

          I think that's the problem. This video (Trigger Warning: Fox News, Gutfeld) makes that point-

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g00uMc0Jko4

          Where they talk about it's power for narrative forming, influencing, and empowering lazy journalists. It's on twitter, it must be true, and I can back that up with wikipedia. It's short-form communication, mostly unidirectional and does not tolerate dissent. But the segment also pointed out around 99% of the US aren't on Twitter. Which doesn't really matter, if the media relies on twitter for it's 'news', or 'facts'.

          It's been interesting to watch the MSM's response to Musk, and it'll be interesting to see the reaction if Musk does take control.. And what he does with it. I do think there needs to be some limitations on 'free speech', but at the moment the needle's shifted too far towards supressing anything that might seem like dissent. Even if the 'facts' previously denied turned out to be actual facts. I liked the point made about how this is a threat to election interference ahead of the mid-terms, which pretty much makes the point that suppressing dissenting opinions is a threat to democracy in general.

    2. eldakka Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: You REALLY want me to buy you?

      First impressions at this news is that Musk is thinking:

      Okay, whether or not the price is good, I will OWN one of the world's most important communications platforms. If I've paid 5, 10, 15 billions more than I should? Whatever. It's all numbers. It's all Monopoly money. I will have Twitter, which gives me:

      (1) The power (He-Man)

      (2) The Force (Star Wars)

      (3) The eyes of the world (Twitter)

      I have so much money. I'll take it. You know you will regret this, right?

      In other news, shares in popcorn just went up. Chomp. Chomp.

      That's a rather generous spin on it. What's more likely is that Musk knows he's going to lose, and in losing he knows:

      1) he's going to be confirmed to be a fool on the world stage (in the "it's better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and confirm it beyond all doubt" style). Having a judicial judgement against him forcing the aquisition to go ahead would be more embarrassing than just going ahead with it 'voluntarily'

      2) it will end up costing him more than $44b if he continues on, legal fees, possible sanctions due to discovery violations, SEC violations, compensation to investors, etc.

      3) more sensitive (embarrassing) information about Musk will be released if the legal action continues.

      The longer this goes on, the bigger a laughing stock Must is becoming.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: You REALLY want me to buy you?

      "Among those messages are things that make Musk seem less a champion of free speech, and more someone who wants to control a massive platform,"

      You missed his attempt to be the massive statesman by supporting Putin over Ukraine, just like is mate IQ45.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: his attempt to be the massive statesman

        As he knows little about Ukraine and even less about Russian politics, I'd hardly think Mr Musk qualifies as even an amateur statesman.

        I loved the put downs by Gary Kasparov (A Russian chess Grandmaster and anti-Putin campaigner).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: one of the world's most important communications platforms

      So what?

      I'll continue to eschew Twitter and all the other similar garbage sites such as FB, TikTok etc.

      I feel honoured to not be subject to the ramblings of Musk, Trump and the other crazies.

  3. Jan K. Bronze badge

    Hope deal goes through so we finally can spread "free speach"!

    Then Musk, Trump, Waters and Putin more quickly can solve this world's problems...

    https://nypost.com/2022/10/03/elon-musks-peace-proposal-to-end-russia-ukraine-war-sparks-outrage/

    https://nypost.com/2022/10/04/kremlin-hails-elon-musks-plan-to-end-ukraine-war-as-positive/

    https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63026101

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Free Speech

      Please go and try saying that Trump lost in 2020 on Truth Social. You will get banned pretty swiftly. Free speech my ass.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Free Speech

        Weirdly Truth social is only available in America.

        At the moment, Truth Social is available for U.S. users only, but rest assured, we are working hard to make it available in your country.

        Someone should phone them and tell them how the Internet works.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Free Speech

          To 'Muricans Trumpistan is the world.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Free Speech

          "Someone should phone them and tell them how the Internet works."

          That's weird. By definition, all servers are available from everywhere. Only if you take affirmative action to block others through geolocation or similar stops a service from being world-wide. So, yet another lie from a Trump organisation. The only "work" they need to do is to remove the blocks they put in place.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Seems the sarcasm was missed.

      1. Jan K. Bronze badge

        Apparently so.

        Next time I'll remember to add the sarcasm tag.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Well, I for one thought it was blindingly obvious and welcome our new sarcastic overlords!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And here we receive the sum of all horrors

    The company will be in the hands of the temperamental man-boy genius, just before an election, in full tantrum mode.

    Retaliation? Liquidation? Bongification?

    The existing shareholders may be exited if this isn't just another troll, but I expect Twitter management was gunning for that 1 billion termination payment. They pushed and may have got the whole thing gun barrel in their mouth. Their shareholders are going to laugh and pull the trigger. Employees, customers, and users are going to lose big.

    If it ends up a private company, the share price can't tank publicly, but Twitters valuation is in the crapper as soon as the deal is locked in. Musk will have an over priced anchor around his neck, an axe to grind with management, and no reason to say no to any new idea to raise revenue. Twitter outlasted fuckedcompany.com, but @pud may still get the second to last laugh.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

      Musk will have an over priced anchor around his neck, an axe to grind with management, and no reason to say no to any new idea to raise revenue.

      But he has ideas for revenue. They may be unpopular, but the whole bot thing revolved around how many users are monetisable. So obvious cash cows would be implementing a monthly fee for a 'verified' user, selling tweet-packs (10 messages for only $4.20!) etc etc.

      At which point the twatterverse may discover it's really not that important, and competitors that it's not that difficult to emulate a service. And probably ways to import friends, followers etc. Trump's alternative seemed to spring into being pretty swiftly, no idea how it compares feature/function-wise, but turning 'free' services into paid has always been a good way to lose users.

      1. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

        Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

        I recall that Twitter became popular when the alphabet agencies were under pressure to stop routinely hacking social media networks

        If you can convince the public to put their thoughts out on an open market for the public to read, the spooks don't even need to hack it.

        Just imagine the intel they've been able to scoop up over the years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

          I don't have to imagine, the evidence to prove your point was happily posted for the world to see(and in some cases, impossible to unsee).

          Social media has ended dumb criminal enterprises, ruined marriages, started wars, caused and exposed genocides. Feed scraping is one of many tools the OSINT and SIGINT teams have made full use of, but so has everyone else.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

            Feed scraping is one of many tools the OSINT and SIGINT teams have made full use of, but so has everyone else.

            But have they made good use? Imagine being some intern/Bob at a TLA and finding your job is to monitor tweets. All of them. Which I guess is why the TLAs invest in AI and MLA to try and find needles in haystacks. Which I guess is also a bit limited given accounts are mostly public, mostly traceable and generally relateable. It's not like the good'ol days where you could pay cash for a personal ad in a paper or shop window to let people know THE ASPIDISTRA FLIES TONIGHT.

            So I guess you could narrow things down from petabytes of chaff to only a few gigabytes that some PB may have to actually look at. Then I guess if you were so inclined, you could us a couple of bot herds. One to spew tweets, one follow, and assemble the sekret messages out of thousands of spam messages. Call it Twatanography.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: Then I guess if you were so inclined, you could us a couple of bot herds.

              Careful if you have a tendency for spoonerisms.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Then I guess if you were so inclined, you could us a couple of bot herds.

                Has AI got sophisticated enough to detect them? Humans have, because it can be a way to get around profanity filtering.

                But bot communication has got every more sophisticated, eg YT and it's spam conversations that can start with a message like this-

                Amazing videos and thank you for breaking it down!! Despite the economic downturn, I’m so happy I have been earning $ 60,000 returns from my $9,000 investment every 21days.

                Followed by 30 replies singing the praises of this wonderful investment strategy. AlphaGoo, use less bot herds!

                1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                  Re: Humans have, because it can be a way to get around profanity filtering.

                  LSE's website is a laugh when it comes to profanity filtering.

                  A good example is Babcock, the name of which cannot be mentioned in its chat forums, despite it being a household name. If anything, it draws attention to the offending word.

                  https://www.lse.co.uk/ShareChat.asp?ShareTicker=BAB&share=Babcock

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: Humans have, because it can be a way to get around profanity filtering.

                    OMG! Clearly they've not updated their filters since about 1998. God help investors from Essex, Scunthorpe and Penistone! Or should that be Es***, S****horpe and *****tone :-)

        2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

          > Just imagine the intel they've been able to scoop up over the years.

          Intel(ligence) from twitter? Are you sure? From what I've seen, intelligence seems to be almost entirely lacking from the site's users.

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

      > but I expect Twitter management was gunning for that 1 billion termination payment.

      I very much doubt they were gunning for only $1b. That termination payment only applied if the aquisition was prevented from going ahead by 3rd parties, e.g. regulatory agencies denying it, not due to buyers remorse.

      I would expect at the very least they would have wanted compensation for the shareprice difference between the aquisition offer - $54.20 - and the share price at the time the suit was lodged, something like $43(?) or thereabouts, in the ballpark of a $10b loss to the shareholders of twitter due to the reduction in value of their shares.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: And here we receive the sum of all horrors

      "Twitter outlasted fuckedcompany.com, but @pud may still get the second to last laugh."

      Don't worry!! Truth Social is just waiting in the wings to step in and take the Twitter crown :-)

      Note icon ------------------->

  5. DS999 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    His lawyers must be telling him he's going to lose the case

    Rather than lose face, he's heading it off by 'magnanimously' agreeing to do what he'd already signed a contract to do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That ship has already sailed

      Having lost his mind,

      lost face,

      and (at $54.20 a share) lost his shorts.

      Right now he stands red faced trying to figure out how to keep the shirt on his back. If he has to buy Twitter, perhaps it is better for him to do it now before the trial destroys any more value it once had. He put himself in a strange situation, where to win the suit was to lose the company. The same for management, they HAD to sue Musk, or risk being sued themselves by their other shareholders, but I suspect they were probably rooting for the billion dollar severance payment, not the buyout.

      Some of their shareholders will be happy, but the company is looking pretty screwed. And we now wired a late stage Howard Hughes directly to one of the three largest communications platforms in human history. This probably won't end well.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: His lawyers must be telling him he's going to lose the case

      Better theory I heard today - Twitter is asking for discovery that he knows will make him look really bad in public, so to prevent that he's asking to go ahead with the purchase - part of his offer requires Twitter to drop the lawsuit that begins next week. What that discovery might be who knows.

      If I were them I'm not sure I'd agree. Publicly offering to go ahead with the purchase makes it even more likely Twitter would prevail in court, since he's pretty much admitting his reasons for trying to kibosh it were not going to turn the tide.

      There is no guarantee that if Twitter drops the case that Musk doesn't find some new flimsy excuse to 'pause' the deal, and Twitter is back where they were a few months ago with Musk trying to back out. Maybe ask for half the cash up front by the end of the week. They know he's sold more than enough Tesla shares in the past year so he can't claim he is unable to come up with the cash that quickly.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: His lawyers must be telling him he's going to lose the case

        My understanding is that what is proposed is that the court case will be "stayed" not dropped. That means it sits in a sort of limbo until Musk pays the cash. So the case can be restarted at an instant if Musk has another mood swing, and decides to pull out again. And only after the purchase is through does the case get completely shut down.

        Twitter are not going to drop the case entirely until the money has changed hands, anything else would be stupidity of the highest order based on Musk's prior conduct.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: His lawyers must be telling him he's going to lose the case

          Yes, the rider about being able to finance the purchase should have any lawyers wide awake: don't agree to this, it's just another attempt to get out of the deal.

          Feet to the fire time for Tantrum Man.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    text messages may be a motivating factor for Musk to close the deal

    In other words, his lawyers will have told him that he was 100% guaranteed to lose the court case, and will make the smallest loss by doing the deal. He will then be left with a company he now hates, probably end up firing large numbers of staff, and make it so toxic its users start to desert it. The celebs that make up a lot of its appeal will bail as this happens, taking their followers elsewhere with them. At some point he will try and sell it to try and recoup some of his losses. But it'll be a shadow of what it was by then.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: text messages may be a motivating factor for Musk to close the deal

      And that's a good thing. First, Musk looses some money. Second, twatter goes away.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        The specific platform might go away. The content won't; it will just move somewhere else.

        And the idea of single global BBS where specific boards are constructed dynamically around tags seems to good too die. Perhaps the next incarnation will do it better. Perhaps it will do it worse.

        TL;DR Twitter might die but it will be reincarnated.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: staff leaving

      Some staff left when the threat of the buy-out became public and I am sure more will follow if it goes through. Twitter has had difficulty attracting skilled workers since Musk made his offer.

      Part of the motivation to buy Twitter was to make it immune to pressure from advertisers. Advertisers are not famous for taking moral stances. If advertisers wanted to avoid all possible links to IQ45 it must have been because of pressure from their customers.

      The sequence appears to be Musk buys Twitter, advertising plummets. Re-instating certain accounts drives away more advertising and failing to re-instate them antagonises a vocal portion of the user base. The plan to replace advertising revenue with account revenue limps towards a buggy release because Musk cannot hire enough competent programmers. Sufficient MDAUs leave until Musk's idea of the 'bot percentage becomes reality. Twitter then merges with Правда social.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: staff leaving

        "Twitter has had difficulty attracting skilled workers since Musk made his offer."

        What's Twitters take on home-working? We know Musks attitude. Be there for 40 hours per week or be fired!

        That's be a good reason to leave if Twitter are currently more relaxed with WFH.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: text messages may be a motivating factor for Musk to close the deal

      I'm sure Zuck has been rooting for Musk to buy Twitter and reinstate everyone that was kicked off. That will cause a massive exodus from the platform, and the closest alternative to Twitter is Instagram.

  7. aerogems Silver badge
    WTF?

    Congrats, He Did What He Agreed To Do

    This is like me expecting praise because I showed up for work. He already agreed to buy it, now he's agreeing to "settle" the case for... doing what he already agreed to do!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Congrats, He Did What He Agreed To Do

      "This is like me expecting praise because I showed up for work."

      What? You mean you *don't* get a tickertape parade every day just for turning up?

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    If this Musk take over does go ahead, I expect in another 5 years people will react to someone mentioning Twitter like they do now if someone says they have a Myspace account, with: 'Is that still a thing?'

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      That's happening anyway. Twitter only remains in the public consciousness because journo's find it an easy way gauge public opinion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Twitter only remains in the public consciousness because journo's find it an easy way to create an article out of nothing"

        Fixed it for you.

  9. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

    He's still got to raise the funds to do the buyout - he doesn't have the required cash himself, and his previous finance deal was scrapped. I wonder if any big backers are still keen to go in with the mad musky one...

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Finance deal scrapped?

      You got a link for that? I can believe some of the other investors fled in panic but Tesla shares have not tanked hard enough that Musk could not make up the difference. Unlike certain people, a banker's signature has some genuine value. I am sure the bankers would not unilaterally break their side of the contract even though they must really want to. If the bankers have found a valid escape route then a quick web search does not show it. This is a rumour that thoroughly matches my confirmation bias so I would like clear evidence before I accept it.

      1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

        Re: Finance deal scrapped?

        The original financing deal collapsed when Musk tried to pull out of the deal. That financing was contingent on him going through with the purchase back when it was initially proposed.

        As for Tesla shares, Musk will want to retain control of the company, so he can only try to sell a certain amount and that will be at what price the market decides. He's now committed to the Twitter purchase, so anyone buying Tesla stock or loaning money knows they can drive a very hard bargain.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      I wonder if any big backers are still keen to go in with the mad musky one...

      There were some names in the recent stream of consciousness disclosed in the court case. So Sam Bankman-Fried and Axel Springer were apparently keen to be involved. But since then there's been a bit of a crypto-crash, and SBF may not have the billions he did at the time, and Axel Springer's board may have other things on their mind. Like the general state of traditional publishing and the German economy.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    End goal?

    According to several news sources who reviewed the texts that were filed in the lawsuit, one was from his ex-wife, Talulah Riley, aka TJ in the texts.

    It was sent on March 23, four days before his first public comments.

    “Can you buy Twitter and then delete it, please!? xx,”

  11. Michael Hoffmann
    Facepalm

    Is this so he can hold more "poll" about whether Ukraine should surrender and Russia should annex more chunks of Ukraine?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr Muskovite

    Not looking great.

    Not looking great at all.

    Must dash, new batch of popcorn is ready!

  13. nintendoeats Silver badge

    All of the other nonsense aside...

    ...those texts seem to reveal that Elon and I are on the same page about what free speech means. TBH, I didn't see any texts in the linked article that I would be embarassed about.

    I reserve the right to think that Elon Musk is a whacko for many other reasons.

  14. bazza Silver badge

    This Might Not Be Over

    It all depends on how confident Twitter are at winning in court.

    The contract to merge included all sorts of "performance" clauses, which Musk has singularly failed to live up to. Twitter's shareholders, if they went to court and won, could get the $44billion for the merger, plus quite a lot of damages for the lack of "performance" on Musk's part. That's potentially quite a few $billion more (especially as the delay has deprived them of the opportunity to re-invest their proceeds from the merger as they might have wished).

    On the face of it, Twitter has won this one and would win more, for sure. The signs were that the Judge was not taking any nonesense and, reputedly, doesn't like such agreements being messed around with. This move by Musk is either confirmation that he too thinks that the Judge would rule against him and this U turn is another bluff to try and get out of the performance damages that may be coming against him.

    I also wonder if, once a court case has been asked for, whether the Judge can insist on hearing the case. I think (IANAL) she can, as some of the wording elsewhere is that "provided the court agrees to stay the case", rather than just Twitter saying "OK". It might be interesting, that hearing, as effectively Twitter (if they were minded to agree to Musk's new proposal) would be pleading on Musk's behalf with the Judge, but so far she's shown zero interesting in giving Musk anything at all.

    There's also the matter of "when the debt financing comes into place", another condition Musk has put on this. If I were Twitter, I'd be saying "no" to that, I'd be saying "pay up now or see you in court".

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: This Might Not Be Over

      I think it's more a matter or protocol and courtesy. It's a civil case, so if both sides reach an agreement which by definition is fair, then there's not much point in the judge insisting the case must go ahead. Neither side is going to be introducing new evidence or witnesses or putting on a strong defence or offence and at best, doing the minimum work required to not be held in contempt of court.

      Submitting the agreement to the court is probably about making sure the settlement really is fair and there's no backroom arm-twisting or other leverage being used by a powerful defendant against a smaller, less powerful one.

  15. herman Silver badge
    Devil

    Talked the price down

    The likely scenario is that he talked the share price down, then he and his friends bought up reams of stock under proxies and now he can sell the palace to himself, to effectively buy it at a discount.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Talked the price down

      Yeah, that's right!

      The alternative option, that he's completely fucked this deal up, is just too much for some musk fans to contemplate.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Talked the price down

      So, if I understand your hypothesis correctly, he made the price decrease so he could buy it cheaply, then he could execute a sale at the original higher price, so he gives more of his money to himself. And because he decreased the price so much, he now gets to pay even more of that money in capital gains tax. And he bought stock through proxies to avoid it being obvious to other investors, which by the way is a crime, so he'd have to find another way to get the money he gave to himself via illegal proxies back into his bank account without tipping off either the market regulators or the tax authorities.

      I think maybe he had a different set of reasons.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Talked the price down

      The SEC might have something to say about that. he's already had run-ins with the SEC for being a bad boy. I doubt they'd look kindly on unfair market manipulation, which is what you just described.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before this latest turnaround

    was he quietly hoovering-up the stock on the cheap?

  17. Detective Emil
    Coat

    I'm late to this party, and won't be staying

    Any story in my RSS feeds that has "Musk" in the headline gets junked. I'm not about to change that policy.

    Mine's the one with the legal-in-some-jurisdictions herbal aroma.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I'm late to this party, and won't be staying

      "Mine's the one with the legal-in-some-jurisdictions herbal aroma."

      Sounds like you have more in common with Mush than you thought.

  18. sabroni Silver badge

    So, as Musk was playing 3d chess with us

    I guess he just flipped the board and stormed off?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, I guess the writing the wall: Twitter was 100% in their legal right and chance of winning.

    Good on Musk to get spanked. It should happen more often to tech-bros.

  20. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    In other news...

    Popcorn shares plummet.

  21. chivo243 Silver badge

    Can I get a different snack?

    I've had enough popcorn for the next decade... So, another pump and dump and pickup?

  22. jgard

    Parallels with Putin?

    Musk may be the world’s richest man, but he’s also a pestiferous, self-aggrandising bore. His pathological narcissism drives him to believe he’s an authority on everything, it also means he can never admit mistakes and never be seen to lose.

    I detect strong parallels between the Musk and Twitter scenario, and Putin’s dally in Ukraine. Both are megalomaniacs, brimming with hubris, and both are hurting because they’re losing face. Each got themselves in a huge self-inflicted mess while the world looks on, and to a narcissist, there’s nothing worse than that.

    They both know they fucked up massively, and there’s no way to escape from the mess without losing face. That’s unbearable, so they either dig their heels in and inflict more damage on themselves, or they reframe the situation to make it appear as though they’re happy with the result. It’s clear as day in both of them.

    Even more interesting is the fact that Musk was sending out ridiculous tweets the other day on the Russia - Ukraine issue. Among other things, he was making the point that Crimea has always belonged to Russia. Implicit in those tweets was the argument that Russia has fair claim on much of Ukraine’s territory. This incensed Ukraine’s political leaders to the point where one high-ranker told him to fuck off, president Zelenski also chimed in with similar sentiments, but milder language.

    Applying my armchair psychologists hat to this situation, I can’t help wondering if there is something deeper here. Is Musk unconsciously identifying with Putin, supporting his unreasonable behaviour in order for Musk himself to feel better about his own situation. I have a few similar ideas on his motives, but I’ve got to get back to work!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Parallels with Putin?

      The 'war' is making Zelenski, his cronies and his handlers at the CIA/MIC a lot of money. Why would they want to stop it? Hopefully the mid terms will shake things up and the cash will stop.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: The 'war' is making Zelenski, his cronies and his handlers at the CIA/MIC a lot of money.

        A rare downvote from me.

        Do you really think that trashing your country is a good way to make money?

        Yeah, I know, don't feed the trolls.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The 'war' is making Zelenski, his cronies and his handlers at the CIA/MIC a lot of money.

          In the grand scheme of things it is a very bad way of making money but it does make a LOT of money!

          Plus the CIA, DNC etc. don't care. It is some far off land not part of 'murica.

          George Soros crashed the £ to make a whole lot of money. Do you think he cared about all the people he hurt? How much did the Bush and Cheney families make from their MIC dealings in Iraq and Afghanistan?

          The wife of a former Ukrainian MP was caught with $29 million in cash trying to flee the country. No corruption at all!

          And look at how the US $ is doing against pretty much every other currency. Its not just the UK £ doing badly, although the current govt is trying really hard to make it worse. I think this is partly to fake a good US economy in the run up to the mid terms, as so far the POTATUS has been awful, but something else is brewing and it will involve someone getting very rich. (but not me)

  23. Franco Silver badge

    Dung beetle buys pile of shit

    As usual Musk wants to make everything about him. Boys get trapped in a cave, he "offers help" (useless help but gets him publicity), is called out by expert diver for offering useless help, accuses expert of being a child abuser "because he looks like one" and gets sued but gets away with it. He's also challenged Putin to a public fight, and it's abundantly clear that his "free speech absolutism" only applies to himelf based on his text messages.

    I suspect that the real reason for his going sour on Twitter is the growing movement in the US to repeal Section 230, which would essentially require moderation of every single post, greatly water down every platform and massively increase staffing costs whilst also massively cutting ad revenue.

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