Brett Wilkins Free Speech Social Issues

Elon Musk Bails Out of Twitter Deal

"It feels like the end of the movie, where the characters are bloodied and bedraggled with a Michael Bay explosion behind them," said one Twitter employee. "We could see this was coming, but in the meantime, he's fucking destroyed the company."
Elon Musk arrives to the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. (Photo: James Devaney/GC Images)

By Brett Wilkins / Common Dreams

Mega-billionaire Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, on Friday officially moved to pull out of his bid to buy Twitter, claiming he was bailing on the $44 billion deal because the social media giant made “false and misleading claims” during negotiations and was in “material breach of multiple provisions” of the agreement.

“For nearly two months, Mr. Musk has sought the data and information necessary to ‘make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform,'” Musk’s team explained in a court filing. “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information.”

Response to the breaking news included rebuke from progressives like Rep. Chuy García (D-Ill.) who tweeted, “Hey Elon Musk, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”

Musk had secured about $25 billion in debt financing tied to his stock in Tesla, where he is CEO. His withdrawal from the deal sets the stage for a lengthy legal battle with the tech titan.

“Elon Musk lost $70 billion this year. The market tanked, his sexual misconduct cost him billions, and he had to sell 10 million shares in his company to afford Twitter,” political and communications strategist Sawyer Hackett tweeted. “Now Twitter is going to take him to court for reneging on the deal and will take even more.”

Digital rights campaigners, media critics, and even public health experts had warned that the purchase of Twitter by Musk posed a direct threat to democracy and the common good by placing the highly influential social media platform—which is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide—under the control of one man.

“From the outset, Elon Musk’s attempt to take over Twitter was about advancing his own red-pilled ideological agenda. He was explicit about his intentions, which is why right-wing extremists celebrated the news,” Angelo Carusone, president of the watchdog Media Matters for America, said in a statement. “If Musk was to acquire Twitter and follow through with even a fraction of what he had promised to do, Twitter would become a supercharged engine of radicalization.”

“With the announcement today that Musk is bailing on the deal, this dark future is now one step closer to being prevented,” Carusone added. “Despite what Musk may claim, this deal isn’t ending because of Twitter bots or spam accounts. This deal is collapsing because of Elon Musk’s own erratic behavior, embrace of extremists, and bad business decisions.”

The Verge reports:

Twitter has gone to great lengths to show compliance with Musk’s requests. In early June, the company opened up ‘firehose’ access to its service so that Musk could receive and analyze every tweet as it’s posted. The company has also continuously tried to reassure the public that it has spam and bots under control. On Thursday, it told press that it was blocking over a million spam accounts per day, and in May its CEO wrote a long thread about how Twitter determines how many of its users are bots.

It’s incumbent that Musk prove that Twitter has breached their agreement, as he can’t just pull out the signed agreement because he feels like it. The deal was a potentially lucrative one for Twitter shareholders, offering $54.20 per share, up from the $36.81 it closed at today. There’s also $1 billion on the line as a breakup fee that will be paid by the party at fault.

Reaction by Twitter employees was mixed, with one worker telling NBC News: “I guess it feels like we won. But it feels like the end of the movie, where the characters are bloodied and bedraggled with a Michael Bay explosion behind them. We could see this was coming, but in the meantime, he’s fucking destroyed the company.”

Brett Wilkins
Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

17 comments

  1. Drivel. So far from what the real world is facing — water crises, famine, war, theft, land toxicity, toxic leaders, and, well, war on nature and mothers and children.

    Defund the Pig? Defund them, and the Billionaires. Musk, man, god’s gift to the welfare check. Huge. End these people as spokespersons for humanity and for media mush.

    Tesla and SpaceX have received more than $7 billion in government contracts alone and billions more in tax breaks, loans and other subsidies, an analysis by Grid found. In recent years, Tesla has sold at least $6 billion worth of government-backed electric vehicle credits, Grid found.

    1. state subsidized oligarchs need curtailing!

    2. Twitter is utter shit. They were literally founded as a company that would never censor, and now they’re just a megaphone for the DNC. The only thing shadier than shadowbans are their executive team.

  2. Oh GOOD… So now the CIA can just continue to run the company, without any pushback, then?

    $hitLibs everywhere – rejoice! Real leftists, and honest, conscientious Doctors and Scientists will remain banned, censored and heavily suppressed.

    But they just had to readmit Alex Berenson, and admit that he should never have been banned. But now, he’s sworn to silence – and all of the coordination of censorship between Big Bird, Big Pfharma, MOCKINGBIRD Media, and the White House/CIA – will never come to light.

    As for fake accounts… Yeah – if you or I create a fake army of Sock Puppets, those’ll get deleted in time… But when the CIA, or the DNC(IA), or the White House does it… Crickets… And THEIR Disinformation will always be sacrosanct…and protected from anyone who might expose it.

    Kamala Harris famously has 0 fans in real life… But on Twitter she has an Army of Twitter Bots and SKD KNICKERBOCKER employees, that constitute something called, “the K-Hive”. Just completely unbelievable sycophants who pretend to be her supporters. Most of them, are just David Brock and Sally Albright. THAT’S why Elon Musk is going to win in this legal case – provided that the FIX isn’t in.

    1. I’m new to Scheer media but now it’s plain they’re shitlibs… so thanks for that!!

      1. Chris Hedges posts here sometimes, and he is decidedly not a shitlib.

      1. Is this Sheared Off Post commentators’ best shot? So what about the Republicans? This is a corrupt country, with both sides of the manure aisle rotten to the core. Fools to hate liberals then not hate the bizarro world of Republicans , high office, in board rooms, in the MIC, and sure, governors like the Texass freak and the Florida freak ….. Biden is Busted, but Trump isn’t? This is a childish society, and Trump is as bad as Biden, but in different ways, and then, not. Imagine, telling Republican tax cheats last month or so that we (USA) should dress up a bomber in Chinese logos and fly it to Russia and drop a nuke so Russia would blame China and go at it with that Asia country.

        This is the stupidity of the har-har-har perverse world of both sides, and Sheared Off Post is a display case of many of the woke and bought and sold AmeriKKKlans.

      2. Freedom of speech – and the Press – isn’t just reserved for you, and those that you agree with. Or for those who currently sit in the majority in the Government. Galileo and Copernicus were quite lonely, being right. That’s how we eventually come to understand the difference between truth and falsity – full, robust, and open debate – not with pre-determined, politically-favored “truths”, that are protected from interrogation and scrutiny.

  3. Twitter should put a lien on Tesla for 44 billion! Make the billionaire pay his debt!

  4. Why can’t you ever trust a billionaire to save you…..from the other billionaires.

    I wonder….

  5. Why anyone uses those CIA-censor-controlled social “media,” such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc. I can’t understand. First, everything posted/sent plus every response is collected, analyzed by algorithms and censored if not adhering to the CIA/government/MIC-determined narrative. I’d be cut after opining one thing. This leaves one to think users are blah-bland if they last. Musk can escape this mess legally I’m pretty sure. [Would he have been any better a controller?]

    1. And while this is a thing- since 2012 it’s become a feeding frenzy. Every agency/department can now have its own propaganda office. “CIA” can serve as a metonymy.

  6. I for one, am glad he didn’t get control of Twitter. I always have had the impression that he is a “shifty” person!

  7. twitter is for morons—it censors anything that does not conform to the ruling class narrative; finally Musk realized it is a scam when they refused to reveal the millions of fake accounts they create

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