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The World’s Richest Man, Elon Musk Wins a Prize To Buy Twitter

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The World’s Richest Man, Elon Musk Wins a Prize To Buy Twitter

The world’s richest man was successful in his bid to buy the powerful social networking service, which he plans to privatize.

Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion on Monday, becoming the world’s richest person to do so. The influential social network is frequented by world leaders, celebrities, and cultural trendsetters.

Mr. Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, a 38 percent premium over the company’s share price just before he revealed he was the company’s single largest shareholder earlier this month. According to data provided by Dealogic, taking a firm private — something Mr. Musk has suggested he will do with Twitter — would be the biggest deal in at least two decades.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Mr. Musk indicated in a statement announcing the deal. “Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

The historic agreement brings to a close what appeared to be an implausible campaign by Mr. Musk, 50, to acquire Twitter — and instantly raises questions about what he would do with the platform and how his actions will impact global online discourse.

The billionaire, who has over 83 million Twitter followers and has romped through the network hurling insults and jokes, has stated repeatedly that he wants to “change” the platform by encouraging greater free speech and allowing users more control over what they see. Mr. Musk could work on the service away from the prying eyes of investors, regulators, and others by taking the company private.

However, there will very certainly be a lot more scrutiny. Twitter may not be the most popular social media network (it has more than 217 million daily users, compared to billions for Facebook and Instagram), but it has played a significant role in defining global narratives. Politicians have used it into a megaphone, while businesses, celebrities, and others have embraced it.

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