Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has questioned Elon Musk’s grab for Twitter, raising alarms about Chinese influence on the social media platform.
Following the news that Twitter had accepted the Tesla chief’s $44bn buyout offer, Bezos tweeted: “Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”
Citing a report from the New York Times, he recognised the importance of China to Tesla’s business model, and sparked discussion about what the future of Twitter may be.
He then seemingly backtracked on his musings and tweeted: “My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter”.
He continued: “But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”
Musk had been angling for a takeover of the firm since revealing a nine per cent stake earlier this month, and Twitter bosses confirmed yesterday that they had given the deal the green light.
Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, said, “The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing.
“The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Twitter shareholders will get $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock that they own upon closing of the deal.
The purchase price represents a 38 per cent premium to Twitter’s closing stock price on April 1, 2022, which was the last trading day before Musk disclosed his hefty stake.
Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s CEO, said, “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”