Elon Musk may not deliver on the Twitter acquisition that he promised after all.
This is not the first time he has fallen short, backed down or suddenly changed course after making a big, flashy promise of innovation. In fact, it is not even the first time he has done so in the last six weeks, during this specific set of negotiations with Twitter.
For Musk – a serial entrepreneur, controversial celebrity, ultimate online gadfly and the richest man in the world in some respects – suddenly hits the brakes on a Technology acquisitions of $ 44 billion with a vague tweet is, well, just another Friday.
“The Twitter deal is temporarily suspended pending details that support estimates that spam / fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of users,” said Teslas and the SpaceX CEO. wrote early Friday morning in a post on the social network that he was otherwise supposed to buy. Attached was a link to an 11-day-old Reuters article describing how the platform’s current management recently linked the existence of spam accounts – a pet problem for Musk and he is indicated that he would tackle if he takes the app privately – with less than 5% of the daily active users who can make money.
More than two hours later, he replied to himself: “Still engaged in acquisitions.”
The shares in Twitter’s stock appeared in response and fell to almost $ 40, indicating strong doubt on Wall Street that the deal would ever be closed. At the same time, shares in Tesla rose 7%, to as high as $ 786.50, after falling more than 25% since Musk began selling $ 8 billion in the company to finance the Twitter deal.
Musk’s imbroglio with Twitter has been marked by twists and false starts from the beginning. When he on April 4 revealed that he had acquired a 9% stake in the social network, that seemed to be the extent of his commitment; he had, after all, registered as a passive investor, which meant that he was prevented from exercising control over the company under US securities law.
But two days later, he submitted an update: After all, he would be an active investor after all.
To further complicate matters, Musk’s first acquisition was quickly followed by talk from both him and Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal that Musk would become joins the company’s board (and limits its share to 14.9% in the process).
“I’m happy to share that we appoint [Musk] to our board! ” Agrawal tweeted, to which Musk replied: “Looking forward to working with [Agrawal and the] Twitter board! “
Or not. No later than April 11, Musk was out.
When Musk finally made its big move – an offer to take Twitter privately for $ 54.20 per share – it was not clear what his plan was, or if he even had one. Analysts were skeptical that the offer would lead anywhere, as would traders, with stocks well below the offer price. Maybe Musk was too. “I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to acquire it,” he said in an interview at a TED conference.
But on April 25 – still the same month as when he first announced his 9% stake – Twitter’s board had accepted the offer. Agrawal assured employees that layoffs were not planned; analyst began to think about what this meant for digital speech; Musk said he would allow former President Trump, who is currently banned, to came back on the app.
Now it’s all on ice. Again. (Twitter declined to comment. Musk has no press office.)
If not Musk’s tweet was another feint. “‘Temporarily on ice’ is not one thing,” Bloomberg financial columnist Matt Levine wrote on Friday, suggesting that there may have been a chance to force Twitter to renegotiate at a lower price or risk an ugly legal battle.
For musk and musk spectators, these are familiar cycles.
The following is an incomplete list of promises and predictions Musk has failed to deliver:
A Tesla semi-truck
On November 11, 2017, Musk announced that Tesla would build an electric semi-truck, which trumpeted out aggressive specifications for efficiency and range. The company began taking deposits from potential customers. Five years later, Tesla has not announced any definite plans to build and deliver semi-trucks.
A Tesla pickup
On the same day, Musk announced that Tesla would sell a pickup, which he did later claimed, would be “a better truck than a similar F-150 and a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. “The company has been making deposits on what it calls its Cybertruck since 2019. So far, the strangely angular vehicle is only in prototype, although Musk recently said the company plans to start manufacturing next year in Austin, Texas.
A new roadster
As an added surprise at the semi-truck event, held at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, a sleek 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 that the car – a radical update of the first Tesla model offered as early as 2008 – could be powered by jet engines which would allow it to fly. The company began accepting $ 250,000 deposits. Although Musk would continue to send a Roadster into space, so far no plans to actually build and sell the car have been announced.
A network of autonomous taxis
In April 2019, Musk told an audience on Wall Street that there would be 1 million fully autonomous Tesla robot axles deployed by 2020. Although competitors such as Waymo and Cruise have debuted with limited-scale robot taxi networks, Tesla has not done so.
In 2016, Tesla began selling a feature called Full Self-Driving that six years later is still not capable of full self-driving. It costs $ 12,000 a year.
Musk has said in several different places that his Neuralink brain chip company could one day stop epileptic seizures, restore limb function, fix speech barriers, cure Alzheimer’s and give blind eyesight. The company has not made any serious progress in any of these claims, and neuroscience experts have done so. raised doubts about how realistic they are. But earlier this year, the company acknowledged that eight monkeys had been killed during brain chip experiments.
A longer list of Musk’s unfulfilled promises and inexplicable predictions would include: A complete network of solar-powered Supercharger stations; backup battery storage at Supercharger locations affected by power outages caused by forest fires in California; produces 1,000 sunroofs per week; one hour of processing time for bodywork at Tesla’s service center; a solar-powered battery factory in Nevada; tunnels with vehicles on electric skates that can take fans to Dodger games at 150 miles per hour; and recently one humanoid robot will be introduced “hopefully next year.”
Then, of course, there was Musk’s infamous and legally consistent claim that he had “secured financing” to take Tesla private in 2018 for $ 420 per share. Should the Twitter affair turn out to be vaporware, that section will resemble a form of unintentional prophecy.