Derek has so many thoughts on Elon Musk’s bizarre attempted breakup with Twitter—and what comes next—that he has to enumerate them. In this episode, he goes through five reasons Elon is trying to wriggle out of this deal and three ways this saga will end.
Below, Derek breaks down the Musk-Twitter news and Twitter’s response to Musk announcing the termination of his agreement.
Today, a rant about Elon Musk, Twitter, and what comes next in the strangest romance in tech. So the news, in short, which you probably already know, is Elon Musk said he’s terminating his agreement to acquire Twitter. Elon Musk said Twitter misled him over the number of spam bots. Elon Musk said Twitter won’t give him enough information about the density of said spam bots. Now, I’m emphasizing “Elon Musk said” because Elon Musk says a lot of things. And just because Elon Musk says them doesn’t make them true or legally binding or even legally relevant. What is true and legally binding and legally relevant is that Musk has a merger agreement with Twitter, which Twitter says it will try to uphold in court despite everything else that Musk is saying. So Twitter’s like a bride being dumped at the altar, holding up the marriage contract, the runaway groom, like “read the fine print, Buster. We’re way past ‘speak now or forever hold your peace.’ You want to divorce, it’s going to cost you and I’ll see you in court.”
And that is basically what Twitter is saying in response to Elon Musk’s attempt to break up with them. Twitter’s chairman of the board, Bret Taylor, responded on Twitter: “The Twitter board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk, and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.” What is the Delaware Court of Chancery, besides a perfect sequence of words? Court of Chancery. It resolves disputes between companies based in Delaware, and Twitter is based in Delaware. So that’s where we are. Elon Musk said “I want out.” Twitter said “Nope, we’re already married.” Time to talk about why this is happening and what is likely next.
So why is this happening? As I said, when Elon first announced he was buying Twitter, when a car and rockets executive who made his name in digital payments buys a website where people scream at each other about the news, anyone who’s extremely confident about what’s going to happen next does not know what they’re talking about. And indeed, a lot of people who were extremely confident about what would happen next turned out to not know what they were talking about. But I can imagine at least three scenarios for why Elon went through this whole topsy-turvy rigamarole.
Host: Derek Thompson
Producer: Devon Manze