Michelle Chapman and Tom Krisher, Associated Press
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken a 9% stake in Twitter, becoming its largest shareholder, as he recently raised questions about the social media platform’s real commitment to freedom of speech. expression.
It’s hard to immediately understand the ultimate goal of Mr. Musk’s acquisition of 73.5 million shares of Twitter, worth US$3 billion based on last Friday’s closing price.
At the end of March, Mr Musk, who has 80 million Twitter followers and is very active on the site, questioned the platform’s freedom of expression – he even wondered if it did not infringe democracy.
The regulator’s filing said Monday that Mr. Musk bought Twitter shares on March 14. This means he acquired the shares before his public statements on Twitter and freedom of speech, a fundamental right guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Yet Mr. Musk has also publicly spoken to his loyal Twitter followers about the possibility of creating a rival social media network.
Industry analysts are skeptical whether the CEO will be on the sidelines for long.
“One would expect this passive participation to be just the beginning of broader conversations with Twitter’s board/management, which could ultimately lead to active participation and a potentially more muscular ownership role. of Twitter,” said Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities in a note to investors early Monday morning.
Shares of Twitter jumped more than 22% at the open on Monday. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr Musk has previously told his more than 80 million Twitter followers that he is ‘seriously considering’ setting up his own social media platform and has repeatedly clashed with financial regulators about their use of the platform.
His purchase of Twitter stock comes as Mr Musk is embroiled in a tussle with US securities regulators over his ability to post his messages on Twitter. His attorney has argued in court filings that the United States Securities Commission violated his constitutional right to free speech.
Tesla released its first-quarter delivery results two days ago. While the company delivered 310,000 vehicles during the period, this figure was slightly below expectations.