Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter after months of legal wrangling and negotiations, putting the billionaire in charge of one of the world’s largest social media networks.

The deal closed on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

Twitter Musk Cuts

Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020, in Washington. Susan Walsh/Associated Press, file

Musk bought the social media company for about $44 billion, matching the original price he offered earlier this spring.

The Twitter deal has had a tumultuous year – Musk tried to back out of the agreement this summer, and Twitter sued him to force him to honor the deal. Just weeks before the matter was set to go to trial, Musk again offered to buy the company.

The entrepreneur, who changed his Twitter bio this week to read “Chief Twit,” is expected to take Twitter private and potentially lay off thousands of employees.

What will happen now that Musk owns Twitter?


Q: Why did Elon Musk buy Twitter?

A: When Musk first launched a hostile takeover attempt to buy Twitter, he said he wanted the company to do a better job of promoting free speech.

“Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s just really important that people have the, both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law,” he said during a TED interview in April.

On Thursday, he tweeted a letter to advertisers, telling them he wants the site to be a place “where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”

Musk, who has 110 million Twitter followers, regularly uses the site to announce updates for his companies, share memes and broadcast his views on various political and cultural topics.

Q: What is Elon Musk going to do with Twitter now?


A: Musk has called the permanent ban on former president Donald Trump “foolish in the extreme,” and said he would roll it back. Trump was banned after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Musk has suggested that permanent bans can polarize speech.

His public views on increasing “free speech” have led many to think that Musk could loosen content moderation at Twitter, which currently has guidelines on removing violence, hate speech and other offensive content from the site. Employees and social media experts have expressed concern that Musk could undo Twitter’s safeguards.

Insiders and observers say the changes could tilt Twitter in a rightward direction. Musk has said he wants to “hew close to” the laws where Twitter operates.

“If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed,” he tweeted in May.

In his letter to advertisers, Musk also said Twitter “obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”

Musk has also floated the idea of subscription services at Twitter, including making commercial and government accounts pay for features.


Q: How will Twitter’s workforce change?

A: Musk quickly fired several top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, according to people familiar with the matter.

Musk previously told prospective partners that he would cut nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500-person workforce. Layoffs at that scale could have immediate impacts on the site’s users and features. But during a visit to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters this week, Musk told employees he didn’t plan to lay off three-quarters of the staff.

Musk had already alienated some Twitter employees by disparaging the site’s work. Reports about his plans for deep cuts were met with anger and resignation inside the company.

Q: What’s going to happen to Twitter’s stock?

A: Musk intends to take Twitter private, meaning Twitter’s stock will likely stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange almost immediately after the proper documents are filed, according to corporate lawyers.


Shareholders will receive $54.20 per share of stock when all the paperwork is filed.

Musk’s team must file with regulators to deregister the stock, but the process is often fairly quick and seamless once the merger goes through, corporate lawyers say.

Q: How much will the Twitter acquisition cost?

A: Musk is paying $54.20 per share for Twitter, or about $44 billion. It’s the same price he offered when he first tried to buy Twitter in April.

Musk funded his bid by selling his Tesla stock, obtaining loans from banks and securing funding from investment firms and other partners.

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