Tesla CEO Elon Musk now owns 9.2 percent of Twitter, according to a 13G filing published today Bloomberg News reports. According to the filing, Musk acquired the stake on March 14. Musk has long been one of the most high-profile Twitter users, with over 80 million followers on the platform. Twitter’s share price rose more than 25 percent on the news in premarket trading.
Musk had publicly questioned Twitter’s approach to freedom of expression Poll conducted on his Twitter account on March 25th. “Freedom of expression is essential for a functioning democracy. Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?” asked the CEO, before noting in a follow up tweet that “the consequences of this survey will be important”.
The consequences of this survey will be important. Please vote carefully.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
“Given that Twitter serves as a de facto public marketplace, failure to uphold the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk said tweeted the next day, before publicly asking if a “new platform” is needed. Given that Musk bought his stake in Twitter on March 14, it seems like these comments came after his decision to buy a stake.
Earlier this month, Musk said he was a “Freedom of speech absolutist‘ after claiming Starlink was ordered by some governments to block access to Russian news sources. “We will only do this at gunpoint,” he said.
CNBC Remarks Musk’s Twitter shares were worth $2.89 billion based on Friday’s close. Musk’s shares are classified as passive holdings, but Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told CNBC that the purchase “could lead to some sort of takeover.”
Musk’s use of Twitter has occasionally landed the CEO in hot water. In 2018, he infamously tweeted that he had secured the funds to take Tesla private when it reaches $420 per share. Eventually, it turned out that he hadn’t secured financing for the sale and Musk was being coerced into doing so by the Securities and Exchange Commission Tesla’s lawyers pre-approve all tweets on the company’s financial health, sales, delivery figures and more.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/4/23009622/elon-musk-twitter-shares-free-speech Elon Musk is buying 9.2 percent of Twitter amid complaints about free speech