The US administration is now discussing subjecting various Elon Musk ventures to a security check. This affects, among other things, the operation of the Starlink satellite network and the takeover bid for Twitter.
One of the reasons is that in various statements on the Ukraine war, Musk has recently tended towards an increasingly pro-Russian position, at least from the point of view of the US authorities. This was reported by the Bloomberg news agency, citing sources familiar with the matter. His plans to buy Twitter – and thus an important communication platform for many users and bodies in the USA – together with a group of foreign investors are seen as particularly worrying in this regard.
While talks in US agencies are still in the early stages, one way for the government and intelligence agencies to scrutinize Musk’s business ventures is through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFUIS). This is a non-public government body that reviews mergers that could result in a foreign company controlling a major US company. A CFUIS exam is often enough to thwart a deal.
And the current plans for Twitter could definitely lead to an important communication channel being controlled by foreign interest groups. Musk’s partners include Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which is founded and run by a Chinese businessman from Canada, and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
However, the fact that the investors mentioned could gain control of Twitter is not the only factor that plays a role in the considerations. In addition, of course, there is the role played by Musk’s entire corporate network. Above all, the aerospace company SpaceX is an important partner of US authorities such as NASA and the military. It doesn’t do well when the main owner publicly takes the same line as the propaganda of a power classified as hostile.
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