Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $44 billion

 SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, seen here following the successful launch of the company's Demo-2 astronaut mission in May 2020, will acquire Twitter for about $44 billion.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, seen here following the successful launch of the company's Demo-2 astronaut mission in May 2020, will acquire Twitter for about $44 billion. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

It's official: Elon Musk is buying Twitter.

The billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO will acquire the social media platform for $54.20 per share in a deal worth about $44 billion, Twitter representatives announced today (April 25).

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," Musk said in a statement

"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans," he added. "Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."

Related: 8 ways SpaceX has transformed spaceflight

Elon Musk is one of Twitter's most influential and popular users, with more than 83 million followers. He frequently uses the site to give updates about his companies and projects, circulate memes and make jokes

Some of his posts have gotten him in trouble. In 2018, for example, the SEC sued Musk for fraud over a tweet in which he claimed that he had secured funding to take Tesla, a public company, private at $420 per share. Both Musk and Tesla reportedly paid a $20 million fine to settle the dispute. 

His acquisition of Twitter has been brewing for weeks now. On April 4, it was announced that Musk had purchased a 9.2% stake in the company, becoming its single largest shareholder. Ten days later, Musk told us — via Twitter, of course — that he had made an offer to buy the whole thing, at $54.20 per share.

Twitter took some time to think about it. The company ultimately decided to accept the deal, which is expected to close this year.

"The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon's proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty and financing," Twitter Independent Board Chair Bret Taylor said in the same statement. "The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders."

Musk is far and away the richest person in the world. According to Forbes, he's currently worth nearly $267 billion. That's about $100 billion more than the second name on the list, Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.  

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.