Twitter’s shareholders voted on Tuesday to greenlight the $44 billion takeover by Elon Musk, while a former employee testified before the US Senate about potential security and privacy vulnerabilities. The Tesla and SpaceX founder cited revelations by Peiter Zatko in a letter seeking to cancel the purchase, which Twitter initially opposed but now insists on.
Musk’s letter on Friday claimed that a purported $7.75 million severance payment to Zatko – who was Twitter’s head of security – violated a provision of the acquisition contract. On Monday, the company called his argument “invalid and wrongful.”
Twitter’s stock stood at almost $41 per share on Tuesday, nearly a quarter below the $54.20 purchase price in the original deal.
The electric car and space magnate first offered to buy Twitter in April, calling the company’s policies hostile to free speech. After weeks of objections and pushback, Twitter came around in May – only for Musk to get cold feet as the stock price took a dive.
Musk’s attorneys have sent three letters to Twitter in an effort to terminate the acquisition, saying the company misled him about the number of bots and fake accounts, and refused to turn over information it promised to disclose. Twitter responded by counter-suing Musk to force the sale.