CSU professor: Twitter aquisition ‘could threaten democracy’

Musk may want Twitter for ‘free speech’, but another oligarch in the media sphere won’t fix that

By Keith Burbank

Bay City News

Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter after lining up billions of dollars for a takeover is less about Musk and more about democracy, according to a California State University East Bay professord.

Musk said in a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he has secured nearly $47 billion and is offering shareholders $54.20 per share of common stock.

But when Musk said a week ago that he had made an offer, the following day Twitter announced a poison pill to quash Musk’s bid. A poison pill makes buying a company less attractive by diluting the acquirer’s potential ownership in the company.

Cal State East Bay professor of communication and history Nolan Higdon said Musk’s bid is just the latest effort of a corporate oligarch to take over a share of public discourse, which makes “democracy less and less likely to work as it’s designed.”

Higdon cited other “oligarchs” such as News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, among other publications, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.

“This is a profit-making opportunity for them and adds to their power,” Higdon said.

He said he is skeptical of Musk’s motives for wanting to own Twitter. Musk says freedom of speech is motivating him to buy Twitter, Higdon said.

Twitter’s shares were up $1.85 Friday, closing at $48.93. On Friday alone, shares were up nearly 4 percent.

Thursday’s SEC filing by Musk says he wants to make a tender offer for the shares of other shareholders. If he does that, he can avoid getting approval from Twitter’s board of directors.

The SEC filing Thursday morning said Twitter had not responded to Musk’s offer to buy the company.

Musk did not respond to a request for a comment made Friday morning through his company Tesla.

Suspected monkeypox case in California: What you should know

Health officials are working to confirm California’s first suspected case of monkeypox

California approves new water restrictions amid worsening drought

Local water agencies to reduce water use by up to 20% and prohibit watering lawns at businesses

SF budget proposal could raise SRO caseworker wages to $28 per hour

High employee turnover often worsens living conditions in San Francisco’s residential hotels. As a result, extremely low-income residents can get…