Elon Musk has completed the takeover of the social media platform Twitter for a staggering USD44 billion, reports the BBC.
The move was completed on Friday, October 28, 2022, bringing an end to the saga that almost saw the two play it out in court.
Could Musk’s acquisition of Twitter signal the beginning of the first ‘super app’ in the western world, akin to China’s WeChat?
Life in China is made extraordinarily convenient with the use of WeChat. We use it to read the news, book taxis, make a doctor’s appointment, pay our bills and accomplish a plethora of other daily activities.
Apps like WeChat, which has close to 1.3 billion active users, have been dubbed super apps because they are an all-encompassing platform for financial transactions, payments, commerce and communication.
Despite super apps being common in Southeast Asia (Grab in Singapore, Alipay in China and Gojek in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines), they are yet to significantly impact the Western market.
However, Musk, the world’s richest man, hinted that before he finalized his deal to take over Twitter, he would turn the app into a super app.
On October 5, Musk tweeted “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”
There is little information out there as to what X will actually do, however, many commentators have stated that China’s WeChat, the original Asian super app, was the inspiration behind the idea of X.
Musk’s dreams of an everything app spawned from Twitter were birthed when he became the majority shareholder in April 2022.
Shortly after, Musk was invited to join Twitter’s board, a move he accepted but later declined, instead saying he was going to buy the whole platform.
Twitter initially tried to stop the move but when Musk offered USD44 billion for the takeover, investors became keen to make it happen.
The takeover bid hit a wall when Musk claimed that the number of bots and spam accounts was more than Twitter claimed, therefore devaluing the platform. The issue was never resolved and Musk pulled out, leading the two parties to battle it out in court.
Twitter continued to try to force the deal through and was predicted to win the court battle.
The trial was originally set to start on October 17, but Musk requested a delay in proceedings so the two parties could hammer out a deal. The judge agreed and gave them until October 28, otherwise, they would go to court.
On the morning of October 28, Twitter announced the deal had been completed.
Speculation in the industry claims that Musk wanted to ditch the takeover because he would have to finance it by selling shares in Tesla. However, in the run-up to the original court date, he sent several tweets suggesting that he was keen for the deal to go ahead.
Commentators said that this could have been a ploy to give him a stronger leg to stand on in court. An apparent readiness to take over the company mixed with concerns about the number of users may have helped him lower the price in the courtroom.
However, none of that matters anymore, as Musk purchased the social media giant for the price he originally stated. The billionaire will now move forward with his plans for the platform.
Could we be about to see big changes to the Western social media landscape?
[Cover image via Flickr]
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