Apr 26, 2022 - Politics

How Elon Musk's Twitter purchase is being greeted in Austin

Photo illustration of Elon Musk holding the twitter logo

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

Twitter agreed on Monday to be acquired by Elon Musk for around $44 billion in cash, just weeks after the tech mogul launched his unsolicited, take-it-or-leave-it offer.

Why it matters: This is an earthquake in global media and politics, where Twitter hosts the discourse, writes Axios' Dan Primack.

  • The move is sure to face criticism from those who disagree with Musk's laissez-faire views on content moderation and be cheered by those who believe Twitter has been too heavy-handed with its block button.

Flashback: We imagined Elon helicoptering from the Tesla factory to downtown Austin's Twitter headquarters, if and when he moves the social media company here.

Yes, but: What impact this could have locally remains to be seen.

  • Twitter officials announced permanent work-from-home plans in 2020, allowing all employees to be fully remote and making it less likely that thousands of employees descend upon Austin, should Musk move company headquarters here.
  • "I don't want him moving the company to Austin. Or Jupiter. Or anywhere," Axios Austin reader David W. wrote us earlier this month. "An attention-seeking tech billionaire from the software/auto industry does not need to own one of the main 21st century public square communication spaces."
  • Meanwhile, at least one local wants to see Twitter in Austin. Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted at Musk Monday afternoon:
"Bring Twitter to Texas to join Tesla, SpaceX & the Boring company."

Between the lines: Should Twitter move its headquarters to Austin in coming months, fully expect Abbott, who takes special pleasure in California companies decamping for Texas, to trumpet the news ahead of his re-election bid.

Our thought bubble: The fact that the world's richest person operates his flagship business in Austin and just bought a major social media company heightens the feeling of unreality in ATX right now.


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