Elon Musk’s ‘on hold’ Twitter deal: Another broken promise?

Elon Musk may not deliver about the Twitter acquisition he promised after all.

This isn’t the first time he’s fallen short, backed down, or abruptly changed course after making a big, ostentatious promise of innovation. In fact, it’s not even the first time he’s done it in the past six weeks, in this particular series of talks with Twitter.

For Musk – a serial entrepreneur, a controversial celebrity, an ultimate online geek and the richest man in the world by some metrics – suddenly hit the brakes $44 billion worth of technology acquisitions with a vague tweet saying, only one more Friday.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO: “Twitter deal on hold, details supporting calculations that spam/fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of users. wrote early friday morning in a social media post, he was supposed to buy. Attached is a link to an 11-day-old Reuters article detailing how the platform’s current management recently pegged the prevalence rate of spam accounts – an issue of interest to Musk and he. hint he will deal if he makes the app private – with less than 5% daily active users can earn.

More than two hours later, he answered himself: “Still committed to buyback.”

Twitter’s stock price plummeted in response, falling to nearly $40, suggesting that Wall Street strongly doubts when the deal will end. Tesla shares, meanwhile, rose 7% to $786.50, after falling more than 25% since Musk began selling $8 billion of the company to fund the Twitter deal.

Musk’s instillation with Twitter has been marked by reversals and missteps from the start. When he revealed on April 4 that he bought 9% shares on social media, it seems to be his level of engagement; After all, he filed as a passive investor, which means he is prohibited by US securities laws from pursuing control of the company.

Yet two days later, he filed an update: In fact, he would be an active investor.

To complicate things further, Musk’s initial acquisition was quickly followed by rumors from both him and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal that Musk would join the company’s board of directors (and capped his stake at 14.9% in the process).

“I am pleased to share that we will appoint [Musk] to our board! ” Agrawal tweeted and Musk replied: “Looking forward to working with [Agrawal and the] Board Twitter! ”

Or not. By April 11, Musk is out.

Finally, Musk made his big move — a bid to make Twitter private at $54.20 a share — it’s unclear what his plans are, or if he even has one. Analysts were skeptical that the offer would lead anywhere, as did traders, with the stock still well below the asking price. Maybe Musk too. “I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to achieve it,” he said in an interview at a TED conference.

But by April 25 — still the same month he first announced his 9% stake — Twitter’s board had accepted the bid. Agrawal assured employees that layoffs were not planned; analysts start thinking on what this means for digital speech; Musk said he would allow former President Trump, currently banned, come back on the app.

Now all that is being kept. Again. (Twitter declined to comment. Musk does not maintain a press office.)

Unless Musk’s tweet is another rumour. Bloomberg financial columnist Matt Levine wrote on Friday, suggesting it could be a game to force Twitter to renegotiate a lower price or risk an ugly legal battle. .

For Musk and his followers, these are familiar cycles.

The following is a partial list of promises and predictions that Musk has failed to deliver:

A Tesla pickup truck

On November 11, 2017, Musk announced Tesla would build an electric pickup truck that would surpass aggressive specifications in terms of efficiency and range. The company started accepting deposits from potential customers. Five years later, Tesla announced it had no plans to manufacture and deliver pickup trucks.

A Tesla pickup truck

On the same day, Musk announced Tesla would sell a pickup truck, which he later claimed would be “a better truck than an equivalent F-150 and a better-than-standard sports car.” [Porsche] 911.” The company has been taking deposits for what it calls the Cybertruck since 2019. So far, the oddly angled vehicle has only existed in prototype form, though Musk said recently the company plans to begin production next year in Austin, Texas.

A new traveler

In another surprise at the truck sale event, held at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, a hot-looking sports car called the Roadster was wheeled in front of a crowd that included Amber Heard, his girlfriend. Musk at the time. Musk later said the vehicle – a fundamental update of the first model Tesla launched in 2008 – could be equipped with a jet engine that would allow it to fly. The company started accepting $250,000 as a deposit. While Musk will continue to send a Roadster into space, so far, no plans to actually build and sell the vehicle have been announced.

Self-driving taxi network

In April 2019, Musk told a Wall Street audience that there will be 1 million fully autonomous Tesla-driven robots deployed by 2020. Although competitors like Waymo and Cruise have already launched robotaxi networks limited scale, but Tesla did nothing like it.

Fully self-driving

In 2016, Tesla started selling a feature called Full Self-Driving that, six years later, still doesn’t have full self-driving capabilities. It costs $12,000 a year.

Brain Chips

Musk has said in several different locations that his brain chip company Neuralink could one day prevent epileptic attacks, restore limb function, overcome speech impediments, cure Alzheimer’s disease and bringing sight to the blind. The company has reported no serious progress on any of these claims, and neuroscience experts have cast doubt on their veracity. However, earlier this year, the company admitted that eight monkeys had been killed in brain chip experiments.

And others

A longer list of unfulfilled promises and uncountable Musk predictions would include: A full network of solar-powered Supercharger stations; store backup batteries at Supercharger locations impacted by power outages caused by California wildfires; produce 1,000 solar roofs per week; one-hour turnaround time for body work at Tesla service centers; a solar cell factory in Nevada; tunnels with vehicles on electric skates that can take fans to a Dodger game at 150 mph; and recently, a humanoid robot will be introduced “hopefully next year.”

Then, of course, there’s Musk’s notorious and consequential claim that he “secured the funding” to take Tesla private in 2018 at $420 per share. If the Twitter deal proves to be steamy, that episode will sound like an unintentional form of prophecy.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-05-13/elon-musk-twitter-deal-on-hold-other-unfulfilled-announcements Elon Musk’s ‘on hold’ Twitter deal: Another broken promise?

Edmund DeMarche

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