Elon Musk Makes Eyebrow-Raising Business Move Amid War With Twitter

Since announcing his $44 billion Twitter buyout in April, Elon Musk has hit several ugly road bumps. In May, the Tesla/Space X CEO tweeted that he was halting his buyout plans due to concerns over the number of spam accounts. Musk announced that since "pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," his proposed acquisition of the social media platform was indefinitely shelved. Many, including former president Donald Trump, believed Musk was merely using the bot accounts as an excuse to back out. As Trump wrote on his platform, TRUTH Social (via Mashable), "There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price," asking rhetorically, "Fake anyone?"

Indeed, Musk announced on July 8 that he was moving to terminate his buyout, claiming Twitter had breached the deal by lying about their spam accounts, per CNBC. Twitter vehemently refuted this, suing Musk to compel him into completing the acquisition. A scathing statement in Twitter's July lawsuit alleged, per CNN Business, that Musk was shirking "his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests." A few days later, a Delaware judge officially set an October date for the start of their courthouse battle, a much more expedited one than Musk wanted, per The New York Times

To prepare for the eventuality he will have to purchase Twitter after all, Musk just pulled another shocking business move. 

Elon Musk sells millions of Tesla shares

Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in his Tesla company, likely as insurance ahead of his October trial against Twitter, per USA Today. In a now-deleted August 9 tweet, Musk wrote this effort was done "to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock ... in the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don't come through" (via USA Today). 

According to a series of Securities and Exchange Commission filings, per Reuters, the Tesla CEO sold about 7.9 million shares between August 5 and 9. Now owning about 15% of Tesla stock, Musk still remains the largest individual shareholder at Tesla, as well as Twitter. Shares of Tesla rose almost 2% by August 10 and Twitter Inc. shares also continued their month-long upward spike, rising another 3% in recent days, per USA Today. Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, attributed this to public perception of Twitter closing its deal with Musk as "more likely now," per Reuters. According to Ives, investors now believed Musk will wind up settling with Twitter for anywhere between $5 billion to $10 billion.

As for Musk, he maintained his ever-mischievous Twitter persona. When asked by a fan if he might just start his own social platform, Musk teasingly tweeted back, "X.com."