Elon Musk, the CEO of electric vehicle company Tesla has acquired a 9 percent stake in micro-blogging platform Twitter, founded by Jack Dorsey. The acquisition makes him the biggest outside shareholder in the social media stock.
Elon Musk is known for raising quite controversial topics, influencing cryptocurrencies and his wars with the US SEC. His purchase of Twitter shares comes shortly after the CEO and billionaire questioned Twitter’s position on free speech. He also that he might take the same path as Donald Trump and launch his social media app. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” the Tesla and SpaceX boss tweeted last week Friday asking his fans if a new platform that would rather be truly democratic is needed.
With the purchase, Elon Musk is now the owner of 73,486,938 Twitter shares, exactly 9.2 percent passive stake in the company according to the SEC 13G filing issued on Monday. Judging from Twitter’s closing price on Friday, Elon Musk’s stake in the company is worth about $2.89 billion.
Following the purchase, Twitter shares went up more than 25 percent in pre-market trading.
Commenting on the purchase, Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities said that “Musk could try to take a more aggressive stance here on Twitter. This eventually could lead to some sort of buyout. This makes sense given what Musk has at least been talking about, at least from a social media perspective.”
Elon Musk is a big deal on Twitter with a following of more than 80 million people. Over the years, his tweets have either influenced a topic or interest or landed him in trouble with the SEC.
For now, it is still unknown if the billionaire still has plans on launching his own social media platform.
Elon Musk just a little over a week ago on Twitter had stirred a debate on Twitter about a new social media platform. Many didn’t see this coming as they expected the world’s richest man to float a new social media platform. Elon Musk says he is a big champion of free speech and has criticised Twitter for somewhat stifling some voices even though he didn’t mention Trump’s name. With shares in Twitter, he could move the site to restore Trump’s account even though this looks like an uphill battle. Elon Musk following Trump’s permanent ban looks like the account with some of the biggest engagements in the world.