Perhaps this is why it is making news that Musk may be backing out?
Breakingviews: Elon Musk probably won’t buy Twitter
NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Four years ago, Elon Musk vowed to set up a peanut brittle company to take on Warren Buffett’s iconic U.S. confectioner See’s Candies. Then he changed his mind. It wouldn't be surprising if Musk's $44 billion deal to buy social network Twitter went the same way
Sure, the Tesla boss was clearly serious about acquiring Twitter as of recently. The financing from Morgan Stanley
is shored up. The agreement includes a fee of $1 billion that he – or Twitter – would have to pay if they renege on the contract. And Twitter’s lawyers even wedged in a so-called “specific performance” clause, which could theoretically force Musk to buy the company if he threatens to back out, though in practice this could probably be settled by adding to the break fee.
There are good reasons for him to get cold feet. The biggest is Tesla. The electric-vehicle maker’s stock has fallen around a fifth since Musk first revealed his stake in Twitter, partly because Musk may sell shares to fund his new adventure. If Tesla’s stock bounces back – likely if the Twitter deal falls away – the $40 billion of recouped wealth would more than make up for the break fee.
China is a major sticking point too. Tesla produces half of its vehicles there, as well as a quarter of its revenue. But Twitter is no friend to the People's Republic, most recently for defying Beijing in its handling of content related to Hong Kong protests. China could easily hold Tesla to ransom if a Musk-owned Twitter didn’t play ball. That’s uncomfortable for a self-professed “free speech absolutist.”In reality, Musk’s absolutism probably won't survive a Twitter deal anyway. European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton told the Financial Times this week that the company must police illegal or harmful content or risk being banned. In the United States, where regulators are less aggressive, other technology firms could effectively create the same threat. Apple, for example, gets to decide which apps appear in its influential store.
There are good reasons for him to get cold feet, Breakingviews columnists Lauren Silva Laughlin and Gina Chon write.