Elon Musk has completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the company confirmed in a securities filing on Friday, putting the world’s richest man in charge of one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.
The company said the deal “became effective” Thursday, as part of a filing notifying its intent to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.
After completing the purchase, Elon Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision.
Closing the deal removes a cloud of uncertainty that has hung over Twitter’s business, employees and shareholders for much of the year. After initially agreeing to buy the company in April, Musk spent months trying to get out of the deal, first citing concerns about the number of bots on the platform and then allegations raised by a company whistleblower.
But the Musk takeover and the immediate firings of some of its top executives now raise a host of new questions for the future of the platform and the many corners of society affected by it.
Musk has said that he plans to rethink Twitter’s content moderation policies to usher in a more maximalist approach to “free speech.” The billionaire has also said he disagrees with Twitter’s practice of permanent bans for those who repeatedly violate its rules, raising the possibility that a number of previously banned users could resurface on the platform.
Perhaps more immediately, many will be watching to see how soon Musk could allow former President Donald Trump to return to the platform, as he has previously said he would.
By taking those steps, Musk could single-handedly change the political and media ecosystem, reshape public discourse online, and disrupt the nascent sphere of conservative-leaning social media properties that sprung up largely in response to complaints. about bans and restrictions on Twitter and other services.