Elon Musk has followed through on last week's flirtation and will now buy Twitter outright. He has agreed to pay $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at $44 billion.
Tesla boss Musk became Twitter’s biggest shareholder when he took a 9.2 per cent stake in the firm earlier this month. But he subsequently backed out of an agreement to join the company’s board of directors.
Now he's back in – as owner of the whole thing. The purchase price is a 38 percent premium on Twitter's stock price on the last trading day before Musk bought his initial 9 percent stake. Twitter will now become a privately held company.
The tech community will now be watching carefully to see what Musk does about free speech on the platform. In a letter to Twitter Chairman, Bret Taylor, Musk said he had invested in Twitter as he believed in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe.
"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," he said.
"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."