Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and some of his businesses, including satellite internet service Starlink, could be subject to national security scrutiny in the United States, according to a Bloomberg report. It would add a dramatic dimension to the billionaire’s planned acquisition of the social media company for $44 billion and could even end it.
- According to Bloomberg, the Biden government is considering this investigation after Mr. Musk’s recent threat to cut off Ukraine’s access to Starlink satellite internet service unless the US government agrees to foot the bill, whereupon he has since returned.
- Joe Biden officials are also reportedly concerned about Musk’s recent pro-Russia proposal to end the war, which has sparked diplomatic anger in Ukraine.
- The involvement of several foreign investors in Elon Musk’s plan to acquire Twitter, including Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Binance cryptocurrency exchange, which is owned by Chinese-born billionaire Changpeng Zhao, also raised concerns, the report adds.
- The involvement of some foreign investors could allow the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review the transaction to determine potential national security risks. Such a review is typically used to review the purchase of a US entity by a foreign buyer.
During Tesla’s third quarter earnings conference call, Musk said, “Obviously, myself and other investors are overpaying Twitter right now.” He added: “Twitter’s long-term potential is, in my view, orders of magnitude greater than its current value. »
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Musk plans to lay off nearly 75% of Twitter’s workforce after closing the deal to buy the company. Musk has yet to comment on the matter, but an internal memo sent by Twitter said he had “no confirmation of buyer plans” and urged his employees not to follow “rumors.” or leaked documents. If the reported layoffs materialize, Musk could struggle to address spam and bots on Twitter, a key issue he has repeatedly raised.
Earlier this month, Musk tweeted an unsolicited proposal to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The proposal appeared to align with many of Moscow’s demands, including guaranteed Ukrainian neutrality, a UN-organized referendum in Ukraine’s four occupied provinces that would allow them to rejoin Russia, and formal recognition of Crimea as part of Russian territory despite Moscow’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014. Echoing claims by Putin and the Kremlin, Musk’s tweet said Crimea has officially been part of Russia since 1783, “until Khrushchev’s mistake”. This sparked immediate condemnation from Ukrainian officials who accused him of being a Russian propaganda parrot. A week later, according to CNN, Musk was asking the Pentagon to pay the costs of operating Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine, saying his company SpaceX would no longer continue to do so. This has raised concerns in Ukraine, whose military has used the satellite network as a vital means of communication. Musk eventually backtracked publicly, tweeting, “To hell with all this… even though Starlink is still losing money… we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free. »
We estimate the current net worth of Elon Musk’s fortune at $219.3 billion (222.345 billion euros), making him the richest person in the world.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Siladitya Ray
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