Bezos Takes a Jab at Musk's Twitter Buy

Meanwhile, Twitter employees are worried, but conservatives are rejoicing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2022 6:38 AM CDT
What Now, Elon? Nobody Is Quite Sure
The Twitter application is seen on a digital device. Elon Musk reached an agreement to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion on Monday.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Twitter employees had what CNN calls an "all-hands" meeting Monday in which they raised some fundamental questions about Elon Musk's purchase of the site. Are our jobs safe? How will the site change? Will Donald Trump be allowed back? To all those and more, current CEO Parag Agrawal could pretty much only say: Stay tuned.

  • "Between now and closing ... we will continue making decisions as we've always had, guided by the principles we've had," he said. "Once the deal closes, different decisions might be made." The deal is expected to be approved by regulators by the end of the year.
  • As for Trump, Agrawal said only Musk will be able to answer that. Trump, for his part, is saying he would not return even if allowed.

  • On the left: Some prominent Democrats are worried, which could translate into legislation to try to impose tougher laws on tech firms, reports the Hill. The sentiment voiced by Elizabeth Warren is an example: “Musk purchasing Twitter is dangerous for our democracy," she said. "It is a reminder why we need a wealth tax and why we need some serious regulation for Big Tech. One billionaire should not be able to turn the world upside down just because he plays by a different set of rules."
  • On the right: Some prominent conservatives, on the other hand, who have long complained that Twitter is biased, were celebrating. "We're back," tweeted Tucker Carlson. Radio show host Mark Levin also opted to return, per Fox News. “This is a great day to be conservative on Twitter,” tweeted GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn. "Looking forward to a free-speech oriented twitter,” tweeted GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell.

  • Bezos: Amazon's Jeff Bezos took a shot at Musk's purchase, reports CNBC. "Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?" he tweeted, referencing Tesla's business deals in that country.
  • How he won: The Wall Street Journal digs into how Musk won over Twitter's skeptical board, reporting that his surprise move of coming up with $46.5 billion in financing won the day. "Behind the scenes, Twitter’s bankers delivered a report to its directors saying that not only was Mr. Musk’s $54.20-a-share bid fair, but that the company also could struggle to get there on its own," per the Journal. And the all-cash offer came as tech stocks in general are sinking.
  • Big rationale: Yes, the board could have continued to fight Musk, but it instead opted for "the path of least resistance," per Axios. One reason? "Twitter is a tough business to manage, with critics at every turn. The board decided to make it someone else's problem."
  • Free speech: Musk promises to loosen restrictions on tweets in the name of free speech, and the AP explores the issue in an analysis. Turns out, Twitter has been here before, and it didn't turn out so well. Over the years, the company has "learned a few things about the consequences of running a largely unmoderated social platform—one of the most important being that companies generally don't want their ads running against violent threats, hate speech that bleeds into incitement, and misinformation that aims to tip elections or undermine public health."
(Read more Twitter stories.)

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