Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is now the owner of 9.2 percent of Twitter in a 13G report released on the day of publication, Bloomberg News reports. In the 13G filings, Musk acquired the share on the 14th of March. Musk has long been among Twitter’s most high popularity users and recently surveyed the platform’s more than 80 million users regarding the platform’s respect for free speech. Twitter’s share price jumped by more than 25 percent before market trading following the announcement.
CNBC reports that Musk’s Twitter shares are valued at $2.89 billion based on the closing price on Friday. Musk’s claims are considered a passive investment. However, Wedbush Analyst Dan Ives told CNBC that the purchase “could result in some purchase .”
Musk has been calling Twitter’s approach to free speech through an online poll on his Twitter account on the 25th of March. “Free speech is a fundamental part of the functioning of a democratic society. Do you think Twitter strictly adheres in this regard?” the CEO asked, after which he noted in a tweet follow-up that “the outcomes of this survey will be significant .
“Given that Twitter is the official open-air town square for the public, failure to adhere to the principles of free speech fundamentally harms democracy,” Musk tweeted the following day, asking whether the need for a “new technology” is required. Because Musk bought shares in Twitter on the 14th of March, the tweets were made following his decision to purchase the stake.
In the last month, Musk said he was a “free speech absolutist” following his claim that certain governments had instructed Starlink to restrict access to Russian news outlets. “We won’t do that except under threat of a gun,” he said.
Musk’s usage of Twitter has often landed the CEO in hot water. In 2018, he posted that he had secured funds to take Tesla into a private company if it could reach $420 per share. In the end, it was revealed that he was not able to secure funds for the deal, and Musk was ordered to do so by the Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure that Tesla’s lawyers approve any tweets about the financial health of the company and sales numbers, delivery figures and much more.