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What Is Behind Elon Musk’s Twitter Stock Purchase?

By Cristian Bustos. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk became the largest shareholder of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) on Monday, after acquiring a 9.2% stake in the company. The operation boosted a close in the green on Wall Street.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Stock Purchase

Twitter’s price on the New York Stock Exchange closed Monday with a rise of 27.12% to $49.97, as reported by CNN. The tech billionaire acquired 73.5 million ordinary shares of the social media platform for $2.9 billion at the closing price of April 1.

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This way, Musk’s participation in the company exceeds those of the Vanguard investment fund (8.8%) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) (8.4%) —two of the largest shareholders behind the company— and also that of Jack Dorsey (2.25%), according to The Washington Post.

Elon Musk is one of  Twitter’s most prolific users. With an active profile, the tycoon frequently posts his opinions regarding freedom of expression within said network, bitcoin, or some other current issue.

On March 25, Musk conducted a Twitter poll in which he asked: “Freedom of expression is essential to the functioning of democracy. Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to that principle?” More than 70% of the two million voters said “no.”

“Given that Twitter serves as a de facto public square, not adhering to fundamental principles undermines democracy. What should be done?” he asked the other day. “Is a new platform needed?” he asked, and “buy Twitter” was one of the first responses he received.

Effect

With the departure of Twitter’s founder —and in the face of the poor financial situation of the company— the entry of Elon Musk undoubtedly indicates at least two effects on the company in the short term.

In the first place, analysts say, the arrival of an eventual leading investor who will give a new dynamic to the company, even if it must pass through the filter of the business authorities.

On the other hand, because of Musk’s position regarding content moderation, the billionaire will probably have a lot to say as a shareholder about the effects of Twitter’s policies in such a scenario.

Musk sports 80 million followers to whom he tweets about his love of Berlin, universal questions, the pandemic, and his several companies. Following the announcement of his Twitter stake purchase, he tweeted a cryptic ‘Oh hi lol,’ which by Monday had over 350,000 likes and had generated more than 35,000 comments.

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