The Washington Post wrote on Thursday that he had indicated to potential investors that he would reduce the number of employees in the event of an acquisition from 7,500 to about 2,000. The newspaper cited the insiders and confidential documents.
Then Sean Edgett, Twitter’s chief legal officer, tried to calm the staff. The company has no confirmed information about Musk’s post-acquisition plans, he wrote in an internal circular seen by Bloomberg Financial Service. Because of this, Twitter recommends waiting for official information rather than paying attention to rumors or leaked information, Edget wrote.
After months of back and forth, Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter is expected to be completed by the end of next week — if problems do not flare up again. The judge in charge imposed a deadline: if the purchase was not completed by October 28, there would still be a lawsuit.
Bloomberg brought up a potential hitch Friday night. The Financial Service, citing its sources, said the White House is considering whether some of Musk’s deals – including the acquisition of Twitter – could be subject to national security scrutiny. After this verification, transactions may be blocked.
Musk is the president of electric car maker Tesla, and the value of his stakes in the company currently makes him the world’s richest person. Since Tesla has a large factory in Shanghai, which is very important for the company, the public has previously expressed concern that Musk could, for example, restrict freedom of speech across China on Twitter in order to fit in well with the leadership in Beijing.
Musk has recently received criticism for two foreign policy advances. He proposed making Taiwan a “Special Administrative Region” under Chinese rule. The government in Taipei dismissed this as “unacceptable”. Musk also called on Ukraine to give up Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia, and agree to a UN-supervised referendum in Russian-controlled territory.
The Tesla boss already approved the takeover with Twitter in April. However, in July he declared the agreement invalid due to false allegations regarding fake accounts. Twitter sued to comply with the purchase agreement. At the beginning of October, Musk surprisingly renewed his bid.
However, he required that legal formalities related to the acquisition – in which his chances are relatively low – be settled beforehand. Twitter rejected this. The company is shady because Musk makes his bid dependent on funding and the back door may still be open.
Musk said Wednesday, when presenting Tesla’s latest earnings results, that he and other investors were “obviously” overpaying for the online service. However, Twitter also has “amazing potential”. At least that made it look as if he had now given up on closing the expensive deal.
Looks like the US can check Musk’s national security deals – including Twitter
According to informed circles, the US government is considering subjecting some of the work of superstar entrepreneur Elon Musk to scrutiny of aspects of national security. This should also include the planned acquisition of the SMS service Twitter, Bloomberg News reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Also among them is the Starlink satellite Internet from Musk’s space company, SpaceX. Among other things, officials are said to be concerned that Musk will stop funding the Starlink network for Ukraine, as he recently threatened.
Last weekend, Musk made a detour and promised more funding. However, according to the report, Musk’s tweets about possible negotiations between Russia and Ukraine also play a role, which Washington considers increasingly pro-Russia and a concession to President Vladimir Putin. It is also significant that Musk wants to acquire the Twitter group with the financial backing of a number of foreign investors.
Bloomberg said the talks are at an early stage. Government and intelligence officials are still considering whether and by what means it is possible to conduct an audit of Musk’s dealings. According to the information, one of these means can be the Advisory Board for Oversight of Foreign Investments, the so-called CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), which consists of members of various authorities.
This committee usually examines behind closed doors whether foreign investments in the United States are associated with national security risks—and can also legally prevent them on that basis. A US Treasury spokesperson told Bloomberg that CFIUS does not publicly comment on transactions that are or are not subject to review.
Elon Musk is best known for being the president of electric car maker Tesla, but he has many other irons on fire, such as the aerospace company SpaceX. With his investments he became the richest person in the world.
Twitter shares temporarily lost 4.61 percent to $50.03 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. On the other hand, Tesla securities are now up 0.54 percent in the Nasdaq at $208.39.
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