Did Elon Musk give up because his wealthy friends were crazy?

Ignore the last few months of vicious legal battles.
Photo: Carina Johansen/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

The world’s richest man has capitulated in his quest to break his most expensive promise ever – to spend $44 billion to buy Twitter – according to a Bloomberg report breaking the news. The news comes after what was probably his worst week on trial, a particularly difficult week for many of Silicon Valley’s most powerful people, whose texts revealed that these supposed investment geniuses are a bunch of shy people. yes-men trying to use Elon Musk to deepen their wealth.

I reached out to Twitter and Musk – they don’t return phone calls, but Bloomberg reports a letter was sent to Twitter. The letter was sent overnight, according to the Washington Job, and Twitter will likely take a day to decide whether or not to accept the proposal. (This appears that it is not technically a settlement and that there may be further litigation to prevent the deal from unraveling again). So all this legal back and forth has been for naught. (At least we all had a good laugh?)

Twitter v. Musk has been the biggest case in business for about a decade – a high-stakes and often confusing clash between one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful men and one of the most influential social media companies in the world. world. In April, after Musk had quietly amassed a stake in the company, he offered to buy it for $54.20 per share, an amount that represented a premium to the stock price, and understood his joke. feature on weeds. It was a shotgun marriage: a deal signed after no due diligence by Musk that left him with very little wiggle room to end the whole thing. Shortly thereafter, markets fell, as did Twitter’s market value. Ever since Musk’s personal fortunes were overtaken by the fall in his Tesla shares, his own wealth was on the line. Musk complained about spambots on the platform, and those complaints became his excuse to scuttle the entire OK. Animosity on both sides grew, so when Twitter filed its lawsuit asking a judge to enforce the deal, the company was insisting that a man they said was unworthy of trust should buy them even if he no longer wanted to – a deal that would only make shareholders happy. After that, it emerged that a whistleblower had gone to Congress and the SEC to say the company was rife with fraud, which Twitter denied.

It’s worth speculating why this is happening now, with a trial set to begin in less than two weeks. It was obvious early on, before the first lawsuit was filed, that Musk would have an extremely hard time getting out of this deal, and the chances of him winning have only diminished over time. The cost of financing this deal has skyrocketed, since interest rates have only risen since this spring. Musk’s deposition is also scheduled for later this week. The core of the trial revolved around an idiosyncratic metric called Monetizable Daily Active Users, or mDAUs; Musk said with little evidence that there are more bots caught in this metric than Twitter is letting on, though proving that in court would be a huge hurdle. But last week was different, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the social pressure got to him. While Musk himself is famous beyond the realm of the humiliated — a person who roughly feels the number of emotions like one of his arthritic-looking robots — the cache of texts released by the Delaware Chancery Court the last week deflated the ego of a good chunk of the Silicon Valley billionaire class. Not only did Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison look like he was taken for a ride, but some of venture capital’s toughest guys ended up looking puny and pathetic. “You know I’m gonna ride or die bro – I’ll jump on a big one for you,” Jason Calacanis, the VC, sent Musk after he was caught trying to sneak into the deal.

Most normal people tend to think, if i was a billionaire, why would i care what people say about me? My own observation of the rich autodidacts – having reported on them for the past decade or so – is that they have become so because they are extremely sensitive to criticism, class status and what it could mean for their future rise in the Forbes list. Musk’s texts also revealed that, despite his reputation as someone who only listens to himself, he has in fact surrounded himself with an endless number of boosters who are happy to please him. they can take advantage of it. A trial would no doubt reveal more about their conversations – things said in depositions, letters, texts still under seal. If you’re a billionaire whose reputation is already suffering from a handful of demeaning texts, I imagine you’d be pushing for Musk to get that deal and keep all of that from coming to light as well.

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