Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal Suspended: Another Broken Promise?

Elon Musk may not deliver after the acquisition of Twitter, he promised.

This is not the first time he has failed, retreated or changed course abruptly after a loud and spectacular promise of innovation. In fact, it’s not even the first time he’s done this in the past six weeks, during this particular series of talks with Twitter.

For Musk—serial entrepreneur, controversial celebrity, immortal online gadfly, and by some reckoning the richest man in the world—slamming on the brakes $44 billion technology acquisition with a vague tweet, well, just another Friday.

“The Twitter deal is temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculations that spam/fake accounts do represent less than 5% of users,” Tesla and SpaceX chief executive said. wrote early Friday morning in a social media post, he was going to buy. Attached is a link to an 11-day-old Reuters article detailing how the platform’s current management recently flagged the prevalence of spam accounts – Musk’s pet problem and one of his problems. hinted that he would take over if he makes the app private, less than 5% of monetized daily active users.

More than two hours later, he answered himself, “Still looking to acquire.”

Twitter shares tumbled to nearly $40 in response, raising Wall Street’s strong doubts that the deal would ever close. Meanwhile, Tesla shares jumped 7% to $786.50 after falling more than 25% since Musk began selling $8 billion of the company’s stock to fund a deal with Twitter.

Musk’s mess with Twitter has been marked by setbacks and false starts from the start. When he reported on April 4 that he acquired 9% of the shares on the social network, it seemed that his engagement could end there; after all, he registered as a passive investor, which meant that he was prohibited under US securities laws from exercising control over the company.

However, two days later he sent an update: In fact, after all, he would have been an active investor.

To further complicate matters, Musk’s initial acquisition was soon followed by chatter from both him and Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal that Musk would joining the board of the company (while limiting its share to 14.9%).

“I am pleased to announce that we are appointing [Musk] to our board! Agrawal tweeted, to which Musk responded, “Looking forward to working with [Agrawal and the] Twitter Board!

Or not. By April 11, Musk is out.

By then, Musk had finally made his big move – a proposal to make Twitter private at $54.20 per share – it was not clear what his plan was, or if there was one at all. Analysts were skeptical of the offer, as were traders, as the stock held well below the offer price. Maybe Musk too. “I’m not sure I can actually get it,” he said during an interview at a TED conference.

But by April 25—still the same month it first announced its 9% stake—Twitter’s board accepted the offer. Agrawal assured employees that layoffs were not planned; analysts started thinking about what this meant for digital speech; Musk said he would allow former President Trump, who is currently under ban, come back in the application.

Now all this is suspended. Again. (Twitter declined to comment. Musk does not have a press office.)

Unless Musk’s tweet was just another ploy. “Temporarily suspended” is not a thing,” Bloomberg financial columnist Matt Levin wrote on Friday, suggesting it could be a gambit to force Twitter to renegotiate the deal at a lower price or face the risk of an ugly lawsuit.

For Musk and his observers, these are familiar cycles.

The following is a partial list of promises and predictions that Musk failed to deliver:

Semitrailer Tesla

Nov. On November 11, 2017, Musk announced that Tesla would be building an electric semi-trailer, trumpeting aggressive efficiency and range specifications. The company began accepting deposits from potential customers. Five years later, Tesla has not announced a firm plan to manufacture and supply semi-trucks.

Tesla pickup

On the same day, Musk announced that Tesla would sell a pickup truck that he said later claimed would be “a better truck than the similar F-150 and a better sports car than the standard [Porsche] 911. The company has been accepting deposits for what it calls its Cybertruck since 2019. oddly angular car only exists in prototype form, although Musk recently said the company plans to begin production next year in Austin, Texas.

new roadster

As an added surprise, at a semi-trailer event held at SpaceX’s Hawthorne headquarters, a sports car called a Roadster swept in front of a crowd that included Amber Heard, Musk’s girlfriend at the time. Musk later said the car — a radical upgrade from Tesla’s first model offered back in 2008 — could be with jet engines that will allow him to fly. The company began accepting deposits of $250,000. Although Musk would continue send a roadster into space to date, plans to assemble and sell the car have not been reported.

Network of autonomous taxis

In April 2019, Musk told a Wall Street audience that there would be 1 million fully autonomous Tesla robot taxis will be deployed by 2020. While competitors like Waymo and Cruise have debuted limited-scale robot taxi networks, Tesla has done nothing of the sort.

Full self driving

In 2016, Tesla began selling a feature called “Full Self Driving” which, six years later, is still not capable of full self driving. It costs $12,000 a year.

brain chips

Musk has said in several different places that his brain chip company Neuralink could one day stop epileptic seizures, restore limb function, fix speech impediments, cure Alzheimer’s and restore sight to the blind. The company has not announced major progress on any of these claims, and neuroscience experts raised doubts about how realistic they are. However, the company admitted earlier this year that eight monkeys were killed during brain chip experiments.

And others

A longer list of broken promises and inexplicable predictions by Musk will include: a complete network of solar-powered Supercharger stations; backup battery storage at Supercharger facilities affected by blackouts due to wildfires in California; production of 1000 solar roofs per week; performance of bodywork in Tesla service centers within an hour; a solar cell plant in Nevada; tunnels with vehicles on electric skates that could ferry fans to Dodger games at 150 miles per hour; and, recently, humanoid robot will be presented “hopefully next year”.

Then, of course, there was Musk’s infamous and legally binding statement that he “Funding secured” buy Tesla in 2018 for $420 per share. If the Twitter deal turns out to be empty, this episode will feel like a form of unintentional prophecy.