Twitter’s regularly scheduled shareholder meeting Wednesday won’t include a vote on Tesla billionaire Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid for the social platform. That vote will take place at a yet-undetermined date in the future.
But the drama surrounding his offer — almost all of it created by Musk himself — might spill over into today’s proceedings anyway.
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Musk had promised that taking over Twitter would enable him to rid the social media platform of its annoying “spam bots.” But he’s been arguing — without presenting any evidence — that there might be just too many of those automated accounts for the deal to move ahead.
The sharp turnaround by the world’s richest man makes little sense except as a tactic to scuttle or renegotiate a deal that’s becoming increasingly costly for him, experts said last week. The fact that the whole thing is playing out publicly — on Twitter, no less — only adds to the chaos that’s played an integral part in Musk’s bid, even before he made it.
Earlier in May, the mercurial billionaire tweeted that the deal was “on hold” because he wanted to pinpoint the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform after claiming that Twitter’s own estimate is too low.
Experts say Musk can’t unilaterally place the deal on hold, although that hasn’t stopped him from acting as though he can. If he walks away, he could be on the hook for a $1 billion breakup fee. Alternatively, Twitter could sue Musk to force him to proceed with the deal, although experts think that’s highly unlikely.
Shares of Twitter were up 94 cents, or 2.6 percent, at $36.70 in morning trading on Wednesday. Musk’s offer is for $54.20 per share.
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The Associated Press contributed to this article.