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Elon Musk closes Twitter deal

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BILLIONAIRE investor and businessman, Elon Musk has clinched the deal to buy microblogging site Twitter.

The site was bought for $44 billion in a transaction that was closed on Monday.

Though the success of the deal seemed uncertain over the past few days, members of Twitter’s Board of Directors have concluded talks with the billionaire, who proposed an unsolicited offer to buy the platform.

Musk who is also the boss of electric carmaker Tesla had in early April bought a 9.2 per cent stake in the social media company.

Twitter had put in place a so-called “poison pill” defense to fend off Musk. The mechanism would have created difficulties for Musk if he attempted to increase his stake in the company.

However, Twitter appears to have made a U-turn after Musk lined up a $46.5 billion financing package for his offer – with funding from his own assets and the backing of Wall Street banking giant Morgan Stanley and other firms.

Musk said that he believes that Twitter should be more open and transparent, and also criticised its process of verifying a Twitter account saying it was like “if Kafka had a Magic 8-Ball!”.

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“I think it’s very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech,” he said at the TED2022 conference in Vancouver, Canada.

In a Tweet following the closure of the deal, Musk said he would make Twitter better than ever by enhancing it with new features.

He wrote, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

He had also made a tweet on Monday asking his critics to remain on the platform in accordance with the rules of free speech.

“I hope that my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” he said.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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