Elon Musk may not be delivered on the Twitter acquisition he promised after all.
It is not the first time that it fails, backs off or abruptly changes course after making a big and flashy promise of innovation. In fact, it’s not even the first time he’s done it in the past six weeks, during this specific series of talks with Twitter.
For Musk – a serial entrepreneur, a controversial celebrity, an online terminal gadfly, and according to some the richest man in the world – he abruptly pressed the brake on a $ 44 billion technology acquisition with a vague tweet it’s, well, just another Friday.
“The Twitter deal is temporarily suspended pending details to support the calculation that spam / fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of users,” Tesla and SpaceX CEO wrote early Friday morning in a post on the social network that he otherwise would have had to buy. Attached was a link to an 11-day-old Reuters article detailing how the current management of the platform has recently ascertained the prevalence of spam accounts, a very important issue for Musk and that he is behind will face if it takes the app as private – less than 5% of monetizable daily active users.
More than two hours later, he replied to himself: “Still engaged in the acquisition.”
Shares of Twitter plummeted in response, dropping to nearly $ 40, suggesting strong doubts on Wall Street that the deal would ever end. Meanwhile, Tesla’s stock jumped 7%, to $ 786.50, after plunging more than 25% since Musk started selling $ 8 billion into the company to fund the deal on Twitter.
Musk’s Twitter rip-off was marked by reversals and false starts from the very beginning. When he revealed it on April 4th had acquired a 9% stake. in the social network, it seemed that it could be the scope of his commitment; after all, he had claimed to be a passive investor, which meant that he had been prevented by US securities law from pursuing control of the company.
Yet two days later, hey filed for update: in fact, he would be an active investor after all.
To complicate matters further, Musk’s initial acquisition was quickly followed by chatter from both him and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about whether Musk would be join the board of directors of the company (and limiting its stake to 14.9% in the process).
“I am thrilled to share that we are nominating [Musk] to our advice! ” Agrawal tweeted, to which Musk replied, “I’m looking forward to working with [Agrawal and the] Twitter bulletin board! “
Or not. By 11 April The moss was out.
For the moment Musk finally made his big move – an offer to make Twitter private at $ 54.20 per share – it wasn’t clear what his plan was or if he had one. Analysts were skeptical that the offer would lead anywhere, as did traders, with the shares well below the offer price. Maybe Musk was too. “I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to acquire it,” he told him during an interview at a TED conference.
But by April 25, also the same month it first announced its 9% stake, Twitter’s board of directors had accepted the offer. Agrawal assured employees that the layoffs were not planned; analysts started thinking what this meant for digital speech; Musk said he would allow former President Trump, currently banned, to do so return on the app
Now all of this is on hold. Still. (Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk does not have a press office.)
Unless Musk’s tweet was just another fake. “‘Temporarily on hold’ is not a thing,” Bloomberg financial columnist Matt Levine wrote Friday, suggesting it could have been a move to force Twitter to renegotiate at a lower price or face the risk of a bad legal battle.
For moss and moss watchers, these are familiar cycles.
The following is a partial list of promises and predictions that Musk did not keep:
A Tesla semi-trailer
On November 11, 2017, Musk announced that Tesla would build an electric semi-trailer, trumpeting aggressive specifications on efficiency and range. The company has started taking deposits from potential customers. Five years later, Tesla did not announce any firm plans for the construction and delivery of trailers.
A Tesla pickup truck
On the same day, Musk announced that Tesla would be selling a pickup truck, which, him later statedit 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 on what it calls Cybertruck since 2019. So far, the strangely angular vehicle it exists only in the prototype, though Musk recently said the company plans to begin production in Austin, Texas. next year.
A new roadster
As an added surprise at the semi-truck event, held at SpaceX’s Hawthorne headquarters, a cool-looking sports car called the Roadster was driven in front of a crowd that included Amber Heard, Musk’s girlfriend at the time. Musk later said the car – a radical update to the first Tesla model offered in 2008 – could be powered by jet engines that would allow him to fly. The company began accepting deposits of $ 250,000. Even if Musk would have continued send a Roadster into spaceTo date, no plans have been announced to actually build and sell the car.
A network of autonomous taxis
In April 2019, Musk told a Wall Street audience that there would be 1 millions of fully autonomous Tesla robots released by 2020. Although competitors like Waymo and Cruise have debuted on limited-scale robotaxi networks, Tesla has done nothing of the sort.
Fully autonomous driving
In 2016, Tesla began selling a feature called Full Self-Driving which, six years later, is still unable to drive fully autonomously. It costs $ 12,000 per year.
Musk has said in multiple locations that his brain chip company Neuralink may someday stop epilepsy attacks, restore limb function, correct speech impediments, treat Alzheimer’s, and bring vision to the blind. The company hasn’t announced serious progress on any of these claims, and neuroscience experts have raised doubts about how realistic they are. However, earlier this year, the company acknowledged that eight monkeys had been killed during brain chip experiments.
A longer list of Musk’s broken promises and irresponsible predictions would include: a full network of solar-powered Supercharger stations; backup battery storage at compressor sites affected by fire-induced power blackouts in California; produce 1,000 solar roofs per week; one hour delivery time for bodywork at Tesla service centers; a solar-powered battery factory in Nevada; tunnels with electric skate vehicles that could take fans to Dodger games at 150mph; and, recently, a humanoid robot to be introduced “hopefully next year”.
Then, of course, there was Musk’s infamous and legally consequential claim that he had “secured financingTo take Tesla privately in 2018 at $ 420 per share. If the Twitter deal turns out to be vaporware, that episode will resemble some form of unintended prophecy.