Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover timeline
Since then, Elon Musk‘s takeover of Twitter has been rife with controversy. Thousands of employees were laid off, engineers critical of him were fired and an impersonation of Eli Lilly caused its stock prices to drop. But this was only the beginning; the timeline of events since Musk’s takeover this spring paints a vivid picture of chaos. From the initial plan to take control of the social media platform to the current uproar over his actions, Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has been a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end.
4 April – Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder, revealing a 9.2% interest worth roughly $3 billion at the moment, sparking market speculation that a takeover offer is in the works. The Tesla CEO is a frequent user of the network, with more than 80 million followers as of early April (it is now more than 100 million).
5 April – Twitter announces Musk’s appointment to its board of directors. Twitter CEO Parg Agrawal says he is “thrilled” by the decision, adding that Musk is a “passionate believer and severe critic” of the site. The latter will be highlighted in the coming months.
11 April – Agrawal confirms that Musk will not be joining the board after all, without explaining why. It’s the first huge U-turn in a narrative full of them.
14 April – Musk makes a bid to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share, valuing the firm at more than $40 billion, stating he wants to unleash its “amazing potential” to advance free expression and democracy throughout the world.
15 April – Twitter uses a “poison pill” defence against Musk’s proposal, meant to prevent an undesirable suitor from gaining a major share.
25 April – After hurried negotiations and scant due diligence (which would later prove to be a major issue for Musk), a deal is negotiated for the entrepreneur to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share, or $44 billion. Musk stated on Twitter, “Free speech is the backbone of a functional democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where things essential to humanity’s future are argued.”
5 May – Musk goes through his contact list and raises more than $7 billion in external cash for the purchase. Contributors include Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, and Qatar Holding, a subsidiary of the Gulf state’s investment fund.
10 May – Musk claims he would lift Twitter’s ban on Donald Trump, who was barred from the network after the Capitol riots in January 2021. “I think it was a morally awful judgement and dumb in the extreme,” Musk says of the ban.
13 May – Musk begins to have second thoughts about the transaction and declares that it is “temporarily on hold” while he awaits facts confirming Twitter’s claim that less than 5% of its users were spam or fraudulent accounts. Musk says he is still committed to the transaction.
16 May – In an episode that typifies Musk’s behaviour throughout the transaction, the Tesla CEO responds to a thread about spam accounts started by Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, with a poo emoji. (Unsurprisingly, the emoji will appear in Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk a few months later.)
17 May – The Tesla CEO’s stance hardens, stating that the acquisition “cannot proceed forward” until his worries regarding the counting of spam accounts are addressed.
6 June – Lawyers for Musk claim that Twitter violated his purchase agreement by failing to provide sufficient information regarding the number of spam users. Arguments like this, which centre on Musk’s merger agreement, will serve as the basis for the billionaire’s official attempt to exit the transaction the following month.
16 June – In an online address, Twitter’s potential owner speaks directly with staff for the first time since agreeing to the takeover. Musk also cautions that expenditures at the firm outweigh income, characterising it as “not a fantastic position”. However, he does not immediately respond to inquiries regarding a future restructure.
8 July – Musk announces the deal’s termination, stating that Twitter is “in substantial breach of several clauses” of the merger agreement. Twitter says it will sue Musk to force him to acquire the firm, citing a contract that does not appear to provide him much wriggle space.
12 July – Twitter files a lawsuit in Delaware, where the business is incorporated, requesting that Musk complete the acquisition on the agreed-upon conditions. Musk’s behaviour is described as a “model of ill faith” in some of the phrasing.
22 July – Twitter’s revenue fell 1% to $1.2 billion in the three months ending June 30th, according to its quarterly statistics. It attributes the drop to the uncertainty created by the acquisition story and a poor advertising market.
29 July – Musk has filed a counter-suit against Twitter, accusing the business of purposefully undercounting the number of spam accounts on its site as part of a “scheme” to deceive investors. Twitter’s lawsuit against Musk is rejected as “gaudy hyperbole,” as both parties continue to yell at each other. Twitter characterised the action as a “a fiction, concocted in an effort to escape a merger deal that Musk no longer thought appealing”.
30th of August – Musk’s countersuit now includes allegations from a Twitter whistleblower, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. Former Twitter security chief Zatko has accused the corporation of recurring failures in its information security setup. However, legal experts believe Zatko’s charges are unlikely to swing the legal balance in Musk’s favour.
7 September – Musk’s bid to postpone the Delaware trial is unsuccessful, as a court finds that the case will proceed on October 17th. “I am confident that even a four-week postponement would risk greater injury to Twitter,” writes Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware’s court of chancery.
29 September – As part of the upcoming trial process, a Delaware court publishes text communications between Musk and his closest confidantes as he pushed to purchase Twitter. The messages are telling. For instance, the podcaster Joe Rogan asked Musk in April whether he would “liberate Twitter from the censorship happy crowd”. “I will provide advice, which they may or may not follow,” Musk responded.
4th of October – Musk, in an unexpected move, proposes to acquire Twitter on the terms agreed upon in April. One legal expert claimed the decision looked to suggest that the Tesla CEO was “finally listening to his counsel”. It was always going to be difficult for Musk to win in Delaware. The news comes only two days before the billionaire was scheduled to be examined under oath by Twitter’s attorneys as part of the trial preparations.
5th of October – Judge Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware rejects to postpone the trial, stating that no one has yet requested a halt in proceedings.
6 October – Another exchange of mutual loathing between Musk and Twitter, this time via Judge McCormick’s office. Musk requests for a postponement of the trial, with his attorneys warning Twitter “will not accept yes for an answer”. According to Twitter, Musk was practically stating, “Trust us… we mean it this time,” and demanding that the trial go place on October 17. Judge McCormick ruled with Musk, giving both parties until 5 p.m. on October 28 to consummate the agreement.
13 October – According to a court petition from the social media business, Musk is under federal investigation in connection with the acquisition of Twitter. The petition does not specify the scope of the probe or which federal agencies are looking into it.
20 October – According to the Washington Post, Musk informed prospective investors that if he takes over Twitter, he expects to lay off approximately 75% of the company’s 7,500 employees.
26 October – Musk pays a visit to Twitter’s offices in San Francisco while lugging a sink. The Tesla CEO allegedly told Twitter employees that he does not want to lay off up to 75% of the company’s employees.
27th of October – According to sources close to the situation, Musk has finalised the transaction. Several senior executives of Twitter, including CEO Parag Agrawal, are said to be leaving.
October 28th – Twitter confirms the deal in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the paperwork, the transaction concluded the day before.
Dec 19, 2022 – Elon Musk asks Twitter users if he should step down.
Dec 21,2022 – Musk, who paid $44 billion for the firm in October, has previously stated that his role as CEO will be transitory. Musk stated in court in November, “I expect to minimise my time at Twitter and find someone else to operate Twitter over time.” In a post Tuesday night, he revealed his plans to take down from Twitter.