Oct 28, 2022 - Economy

Why Elon Musk's Twitter deal matters for everyone

Photo illustration of Elon Musk next to the twitter logo

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

It's finally over. Elon Musk owns Twitter, after seven months, two lawsuits and one poop emoji.

Why it matters: Twitter remains the global public square, despite its aging audience. When politicians or other power brokers want to share information or opinions, they usually do so via Twitter.

  • Its rules will now be set by a single individual, who also happens to be the world's richest man and one of its most idiosyncratic.

For dealmakers: It's a $44 billion reminder that signed contracts are binding, and of the risks of rushing toward the dotted line.

For Elon critics: You looked silly. First lamenting that he was gonna buy it, and then reveling in his inability to walk away.

For Elon fanboys: You looked even sillier. Not only for the same thing in reverse, but for believing that the lawsuits would lay bare Twitter's conspiratorial soul.

For Elon: He now must figure out how to make Twitter worth more than $44 billion, a price that everyone agrees is too high in October 2022, so that he can eventually find a buyer or take it public without taking more financial or reputational hits.

  • It's a very tall task. But not necessarily an impossible one, particularly if the broader markets someday rebound and Elon manages to evolve Twitter into a WeChat-style app that incorporates other services like fintech and commerce.

The bottom line: There are still details we don't know, such as how the financing hole was filled and who will join Twitter in key roles, but the big question has been answered.

Go deeper