Musk’s Twitter deal and Starlink could face national security review, report says


Topline

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and some of its businesses, including satellite internet service Starlink, could be subject to national security scrutiny, according to Bloomberg reporta move that would add even more drama and could halt the billionaire’s planned $44 billion acquisition of the social media company.

Highlights

According Bloomberg, the Biden administration is considering the probe after Musk’s recent threat to cut off Ukraine’s access to Starlink’s satellite internet service unless the US government agrees to pay the bill, which he has since came back on.

Biden officials also reportedly worried about Musk’s recent decision Proposal favorable to Russia end the war, which sparked diplomatic anger in Ukraine.

The involvement of several foreign investors in Musk’s proposed acquisition of Twitter, including Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and crypto exchange Binance, which is owned by Chinese-born billionaire Changpeng Zhao, has also raised concerns, the report adds.

The involvement of certain foreign investors may allow the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review the agreement for potential national security risks, however, such a review is generally used to review the purchase of an entity American by a foreign buyer.

Although he hasn’t officially reacted to Bloomberg’s report, on Twitter Musk replied with a laughing emoji after a user tweeted, “It would be hysterical if the government stopped Elon from [overpaying]

for Twitter.

crucial quote

During the earnings call for Tesla’s third quarter results, Musk said, “Obviously myself and other investors are obviously paying too much for Twitter right now.” He added, “Twitter’s long-term potential, in my view, is orders of magnitude greater than its current value.”

Tangent

Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Musk planned to Fire almost 75% of Twitter’s workforce after reaching the agreement to purchase the company. Musk has yet to comment on this, but a internal memo sent by Twitter said it had “no confirmation of the buyer’s plans” and urged its 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.

Key context

Earlier this month, Musk tweeted a spontaneous proposal to end Russia’s ongoing 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. Mirroring claims by Putin and the Kremlin, Musk’s tweet said Crimea had officially been part of Russia since 1783, “until to Khrushchev’s error”. This sparked immediate condemnation from Ukrainian officials who accused him of repeating Russian propaganda. A week later, CNN reported, Musk was asking the Pentagon to pay the costs of operating Starlink’s satellite internet service in Ukraine, saying his company SpaceX would no longer continue to do so. This has raised concerns inside Ukraine, whose military has used the satellite network as a vital means of communication. Musk finally backed down publicly, Tweeter“Damn it…even though Starlink is still losing money…we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”

Forbes Valuation

We value Musk current net worth at $219.3 billion, making him the richest person in the world.

Further reading

US assesses security advisories for Musk offerings, including Twitter (Bloomberg)

Musk plans to cut 75% of Twitter workforce, report says (Forbes)

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