The entrepreneur Elon Musk has finally created facts and officially completed the takeover of the social media service Twitter. Shortly after buying the majority of the shares, the new owner is said to have fired a number of top managers.
Musk announced the completion of the $44 billion acquisition via his own Twitter feed: “The bird is free,” he wrote, referring to the Twitter logo. Before that, however, he had tried for a long time to get out of the takeover contract that had already been concluded. However, it became apparent that this would have involved enormous costs and the Twitter shareholders also wanted to enforce the deal in court. With the expiry of the deadlines, Musk finally created facts out of court and fulfilled his contractual obligations.
As one of the first things he did as the company’s new owner, Musk fired most of the board members. The departures include Parag Agrawal, the previous chief, Vijaya Gadde, chief legal officer, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and general counsel Sean Edgett, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Existing shareholders will receive $54.20 per share and Twitter will now be run as a private company and will no longer be listed on the stock exchange. The company has already been taken off the market today. In addition, some other changes are also likely to be made in the coming days and weeks. Mass layoffs are already being discussed and other steps will probably also directly affect the users of the platform.
Implications for users
Musk had already announced that he wanted to ensure “freedom of expression” again. If you read between the lines here, however, it is not about what many people or even the European and German legal situation understand under the topic.
Above all, it is to be feared that the moderation standards that have been hard-fought for years will largely disappear. The new owner had already announced plans to restore some high-profile accounts that were banned from Twitter for massive rule-breaking, including former US President Donald Trump.
If Musk follows through on his much-anticipated course, conflicts with the law are likely to quickly ensue in markets outside of the United States. Because in many countries there are different ideas about freedom of expression.
In this country, for example, only opinions are really covered, while human dignity is paramount and personal attacks and bullying are not included. In the meantime, there is also the legal basis with which this can be enforced against platforms such as Twitter.
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