The other two outcomes, which together are much more likely, Ives says, would see Musk either buy Twitter for the agreed $ 44 billion or walk away after reaching a settlement in which he pays the company compensation of between $ 5 and $ 10 billion. . “The stock includes a significant chance that Musk will eventually have to pay Twitter a major settlement a good chunk north of $ 1 billion and possibly still have to buy the company at the agreed price,” Ives said.
The prospect of Twitter’s logic prevailing and Musk ending up owning the social network, which he now seems to despise, has some employees and users worried. “There’s no one to pump the brakes on this deal, even when it’s clear Musk is the last thing in the world Twitter needs,” said Brianna Wu, a former video game developer and founder of the progressive political action group Rebellion PAC. “Investors want it to go through. The board stands to earn billions, and they will go to court to enforce the issue. ”
How is a business deal entered into by both sides and supported by some of the world’s largest banks for such a mess? Javier Marcos Cuevas, an associate professor at the Cranfield School of Management, describes the process that led Twitter to do so as an “escalation of engagement” that forced both Musk and Twitter to reverse their original positions.
Musk originally had to offer a relatively high price to be considered a credible buyer, says Marcos Cuevas. “What may have happened back then is that he realized that, after seeing what the analysts believed in the price, he had paid too much,” he says. That feeling would have been exacerbated by the broad slowdown across financial markets not long after trading closed. Twitter’s lawsuit claims it was a primary cause of Musk’s claims of a bot problem.
On Twitter, Marcos Cuevas believes that the company’s management went from believing that the company deserved a high price, to no longer believing that it could sell the company at all. This turnaround makes it worth trying to force Musk to complete the deal, secure the high price offered, or force payment of significant damages. “There has been a complete reformulation of the expectations of both parties,” says Marcos Cuevas, “which has resulted in a lack of trust and confidence and a fundamental review of their original positions.”
Many Twitter employees are afraid that Musk would be a bad steward of the company and its service. They have been asked by executives not to discuss the acquisition or Musk on Slack, says an employee who suspects executives have a more positive view of the deal. “I think a lot of senior executives are more pro-Elon than employees,” the employee says. “They own Teslas, own shares and like the Musk mindset.”
If Musk ends up in charge, Williams suggests he might step down tensions by appointing someone else to run the company. “It could slip over the ragged feathers,” she says.
For now, life in the Twilight Zone is worn out on Twitter workers. Cornet, the cartoonist who caught the company’s predicament, can feel it among his colleagues. “There’s probably some degree of fatigue.” he says, “New twists keep piling up.”