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Elon Musk Mulls Tender Offer for Twitter as an Alternative Path to Take Over the App

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Elon Musk Mulls Tender Offer for Twitter as an Alternative Path to Take Over the App


Will Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover offer ultimately succeed?

Market analysts have thus far seemed pessimistic about Musk’s chances, and the seriousness of his offer, but now, Musk is exploring alternative options, even if his initial offer of $54.20 per share is not accepted by Twitter’s board.

According to the latest reports, Musk is now exploring a possible tender offer for the company, which would effectively bypass Twitter’s board and put the decision into the hands of the company’s shareholders.

As reported by CNBC:

“In an updated filing published Thursday, Musk said that given the lack of response from Twitter’s board, he is now exploring a tender offer to purchase some or all shares of the company directly from its stockholders.”

That’s in line with Musk’s more recent tweets about a potential tender offer.

Though it’s a much harder road to take for an acquisition, with a lot more moving parts, and even with support to launch a tender bid, it could be tough going for the billionaire businessman.

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According to CNBC’s report, Musk has now secured commitments for $46.5 billion to help finance his Twitter push, so he can actually go ahead with his original offer, if it’s accepted. So while many analysts had dismissed Musk’s original offer as too low, and likely more of a stunt than a genuine attempt to become Twitter’s owner, it seems that Musk is for real in his desire to own the platform, and convert it into his vision of a haven for free speech.

Which, as we reported recently, seems a little murky, based on Musk’s history of trying to silence people and content that he personally doesn’t like. Indeed, Musk and his company Tesla have a long track record of working to silence critics, through various tactics – so while Musk may be outwardly in support of ‘free speech principles’, and allowing people to share their thoughts, it seems that he too has his limits in what that might mean.

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Which suggests that Musk is in support of certain guardrails, just not the ones that, you know, might protect other people as well.

It’s still difficult to say what exactly Musk’s plans are with Twitter, and whether he really wants to take over the company. The constant references to ‘420’ and other in-jokes make it seems like Musk is treating this as a high-stakes game, a hobby to keep him entertained – but if he actually did win, and actually did take control of Twitter, what would he do with it, and would that improve the platform in any way?

Even today, Musk is still tweeting out his ideas and concepts, which may or may not be possible under his leadership.

Definitely, bots are a problem, and Twitter is constantly working to improve on this (even if it seems like it could do more), while authenticating all users is also something Twitter has mulled in the past, so these aren’t radical ideas.

But they are likely more complex than Musk, who has no experience running a social network, might think.

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Which is really the core issue – while everyone has their own ideas and thoughts on how to improve every social platform, actually implementing such improvements is a lot harder than you might think, and without that internal insight, and oversight, it’s much easier to come up with optimistic solutions which only work in an idealistic sense.

Musk might think that he knows how to ‘fix’ Twitter, but based on his own history, and the history of his company, he’s not as open to ‘free speech’ as even he thinks.

Should the mega-rich be able to set the rules on what gets discussed online? Would Elon Musk be able to stop himself from stepping in to quell criticisms of Tesla, or himself, if he had the capacity to do so?

Would Twitter actually be a better place if Musk were in charge?

I’d hazard a bet that it won’t – but we may soon find out either way.





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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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