Elon Musk Fields Questions From Twitter Employees: Live Updates

Elon Musk, Twitter’s would-be owner, fielded questions on Thursday from “tweeps,” as Twitter employees are known, underscoring “Freedom of speech, and Freedom of Reach” in a discussion where he appeared to be talking into his phone and often had audio issues.

Mr. Musk attended a virtual all-hands meeting as his $44 billion acquisition of the company, announced in April, continues to move ahead — despite Mr. Musk’s hand-wringing about bot accounts on the site, which many analysts have interpreted as an effort to get out of the deal or lower its price tag.

The meeting has been a long time coming. Mr. Musk was supposed to take questions from employees after Twitter appointed him to its board in April, but that appearance was scrapped after he changed his mind and tried to buy the company instead. His first question was if he would do another event, given that Thursday’s 45-minute meeting was not likely enough time to answer all of the many questions collected over the past few days. He agreed to appear again.

He said WeChat, the Chinese social media and payments app, could be a possible vision for Twitter and said he appreciated people “making a living on Twitter.”

Doing a Q. and A. session after announcing a deal to buy a company is a standard part of the mergers and acquisitions playbook, but the Twitter deal has been far from typical. Plummeting shares of technology stocks, including those of Tesla, a main source of Musk’s wealth, have coincided with what has appeared to be some hesitation on Mr. Musk’s part of him, and his erratic flurry of deal-related tweets has sent advisers, investors and employees scrambling.

This month, Mr. Musk accused the company of stonewalling his efforts to get more information about how it calculates the number of fake or spam accounts, which he said could give him the right to abandon the deal. Days later, Twitter agreed to give Mr. Musk access to its “firehose,” a stream of millions of tweets. Despite the public back-and-forth, advisers continue to work toward completing a deal, which is expected to close by Oct. 24, assuming regulators approve it by then.

Some investors doubt whether Mr. Musk will take the deal to the finish line, with Twitter continuing to trade well below Mr. Musk’s $54.20 takeover price. If he tries to pull out of the deal, there’s a $1 billion breakup fee, as well as a clause that gives Twitter the right to sue him to close, if his financing is intact. Twitter’s lawyers, who are ready to take Mr. Musk to court if necessary, are sure to be taking studious notes during Thursday’s Q. and A.

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