Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the company confirmed in its stock filing on Friday, putting the world’s richest man in charge of one of the world’s most important social networks.
The company said the deal became “effective” on Thursday as part of a filing announcing its intention to delist on the New York Stock Exchange. The confirmation comes after a source familiar with the deal told CNN the deal closed Thursday night.
Musk also acknowledged the takeover in a tweet Thursday night: “the bird has been released.”
The closing of the deal removes the cloud of uncertainty that has hung over Twitter’s business, employees and shareholders for much of the year. It also avoids a court battle that would have occurred if the purchase was not closed by 5pm on Friday.
But Musk’s takeover raises many new questions for the future of the social media platform, and the many corners of society it will affect. Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Neg Segal and policy chief Vijaya Gadde on Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the situation. It also fired Twitter’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, a source told CNN.
While multiple news reports confirmed the changes Thursday night, Twitter employees still hadn’t been formally informed of the changes as of Friday morning, two Twitter employees told CNN.
in one the tweet On Friday, Segal confirmed his departure from the company. “Thursday marked 5 years @twitter,” he wrote. “I’m grateful to have worked with an incredible group of people who are building a world town square for all of our stakeholders. The work is not finished, but we have made significant progress.”
Musk has said he plans to rethink Twitter’s content moderation policies in the service of a more maximalist view of “freedom of expression.” The billionaire also said he disagrees with Twitter’s permanent bans for repeat violators, raising the possibility that some of the controversial users who have been re-banned on the platform could reappear.
Perhaps immediately, many will be watching to see if Musk can let former President Donald Trump back on the platform, as he previously said he would. Depending on the timing, that move could have major implications for the upcoming US midterm elections, as well as the 2024 presidential campaign.
Trump said in a post on his social platform Truth Social that he is “very happy that Twitter is now in good hands” after Musk took over, but hinted that he would not be returning to the platform.
“Truth Social has become a phenomenon,” he said. “It looks and works better too,” he said. Trump previously said he would stay on Truth Social instead of returning to Twitter, which has tens of millions more followers.