Speed Reads

bitter pill to swallow

Twitter board turns to 'poison pill' to stop Elon Musk takeover

Twitter announced Friday its board had voted unanimously to adopt a limited duration shareholder rights plan, also known as a "poison pill," to stop billionaire Elon Musk from taking over the company, CNN reported.

Earlier this month, Musk bought more than 9 percent of the company, but declined to take a board seat. Instead, he offered Thursday to buy the rest of the company for $43 billion, or $54.20 per share, in order to take the company private and turn it into "the platform for free speech around the globe." Musk's offer was 18 percent higher than the closing price for Twitter stock on Wednesday.

Under the poison pill plan, which will last for one year, "if any person or group acquires beneficial ownership of at least 15 percent of Twitter's outstanding common stock without the board's approval, other shareholders will be allowed to purchase additional shares at a discount," according to CNBC.

Analyst Dan Ives told CNN that Musk or other shareholders could challenge the poison pill in court, potentially forcing Twitter's board to prove that they acted in the best interests of shareholders.

Writing for The Guardian on Tuesday, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich accused Musk of seeking to create an internet — and a world — "dominated by the richest and most powerful people ... who wouldn't be accountable to anyone for facts, truth, science or the common good," a goal Reich claimed Musk shares with former President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson praised Musk, saying Thursday on his show that the billionaire's offer is a rebuke to "the people who run our system," whose "rule depends on censorship and propaganda." Carlson also accused Musk's critics of hypocrisy. "Facebook is controlled by one person, Mark Zuckerberg, but that's not a threat because Mark Zuckerberg is happy to work on behalf of the Democratic Party," he said.