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Musk-have Tesla founder Elon Musk strikes deal to buy Twitter for $44billion

Donald Trump insists he won’t rejoin the platform even if he is allowed

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Elon Musk. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Elon Musk. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Elon Musk. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Billionaire Elon Musk has reached an agreement to acquire Twitter for approximately $44 billion dollars.

The outspoken Tesla CEO, the world's wealthiest person, has said he wants to buy Twitter because he thinks it is not living up to its potential as a platform for "free speech".

He says it needs to be transformed as a private company in order to build trust with users and do better at serving what he calls the "societal imperative" of free speech.

Twitter said it will become a privately held company after the sale is closed.

"Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world," CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet.

"Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important."

Mr Musk describes himself as a "free-speech absolutist," although he has not been exactly clear what he means by that.

In a recent TED interview, the billionaire said he would like to see Twitter err on the side of allowing speech instead of moderating it.

He said he would be "very reluctant" to delete tweets and would generally be cautious about permanent bans. He also acknowledged that Twitter would have to abide by national laws governing speech in markets around the world.

Mr Musk himself, though, regularly blocks social media users who have criticised him or his company and has used the platform to bully reporters who have written critical articles about him or his company.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will not return to social media platform Twitter even if his account is reinstated following the platform's purchase by Musk, as some have been predicting.

Trump was barred from the platform permanently after tweeting support for the January 6 Capitol rioters.

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Trump told Fox News that he will formally join his own Truth Social startup over the next seven days, as planned.

"I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth," Trump told Fox News. "I hope Elon buys Twitter because he'll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth," Trump said

Twitter's board at first enacted an anti-takeover measure known as a poison pill that could have made Musk’s takeover attempt prohibitively expensive.

But when Mr Musk outlined the financial commitments he had lined up to back his offer of $46.5 billion - and no other bidders emerged - the board opened negotiations with him.

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