Musk officially closes Twitter deal: reports

Elon Musk officially owns Twitter after closing the deal by a court-imposed Friday deadlineaccording to multiple outlets, ending a six-month journey over his controversial $44 billion acquisition.

CNBC first reported Thursday evening that Musk had taken control of Twitter and the company’s CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal had left and would not be returning. Multiple outlets reported that Agrawal and Segal, along with other Twitter executives, were fired.

Musk’s agreement to buy Twitter faced several turns. The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO sought to back out of the deal in July, but earlier this month he agreed to follow through on the initial April agreement as he faced a lawsuit from Twitter.

A judge halted the trial earlier this month on the condition that he close the deal by Friday. 

Musk hasn’t disclosed his plans for Twitter in much detail, but he indicated he wants to pull back some content moderation measures in a way critics warn could lead to more hate speech and disinformation on the platform. 

It’s not clear if any changes to Twitter will be immediate enough to impact the approaching November midterm elections, but updates to Twitter’s policies could come ahead of the 2024 election.

One of the most high-profile changes Musk has indicated he would take is allowing former President Trump back on the platform. 

Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after posts he made about the Jan. 6 riot at the Capital last year were deemed to incite violence. Musk has said he disagrees with that decision, and could give Trump access to his account, which lets him reach a wider audience ahead of a potential 2024 run. 

Trump has said he would not return to Twitter, preferring to stay on his own Truth Social, but observers have cast doubt on the idea that he could turn down such a large audience.

Despite Musk’s calls for a “free speech” platform, indicating a laxer approach to moderating content, he told investors in a public message Thursday that Twitter “obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.”