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Elon Musk planned to launch his own social network to rival Twitter

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 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Elon Musk threated to make a new social network to compete with Twitter if he was unable to buy it, a new lawsuit alleges.

The world’s richest man reportedly met with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and executive Egon Durban, about the future of social media and the prospect of Musk’s joining the Twitter board on 26 March 2022, according to documents filed by Twitter that would force Mr Musk to purchase the social media company.

Mr Musk apparently met with Twitter head Parag Agrawal and Twitter board chair Bret Taylor “soon after” and told them that he “had in mind three options relative to Twitter: join its board, take the company private, or start a competitor.”

In a tweet, Mr Musk alluded to the latter – saying that he was giving the notion of a competing platform “serious thought”.

Mr Musk originally made a $44bn bid for Twitter but is attempting to renege on the deal. Twitter is hoping that a court could force Mr Musk to continue with the purchase, which is how these details have come out. In response to the lawsuit, Mr Musk tweeted: “Oh the irony lol”

The deal between Mr Musk and Twitter had a “drop-dead” deadline of 24 October, so Twitter wants the case to be heard before then. The company is pushing for the trial to take place over four days in September this year.

It is unclear exactly why Mr Musk does not want to go through with the deal. In the filing, Twitter states that “rather than bear the cost of the market downturn”, Mr Musk wants to “shift it to Twitter’s stockholders”.

Tesla stock, which Mr Musk was going to use to purchase Twitter, has dropped significantly since his offer, and Mr Musk’s tweets have had a negative impact on Twitter’s stock too.

Mr Musk has claimed that he wanted to buy Twitter to get rid of spam bots, but has also claimed that spam bots on the platform are the reason he does not want to purchase the social media company.

He has also described himself as an advocate for free speech and, in doing so, has passively directed huge abuse towards Twitter’s employees – some of which might leave the company if he takes over, The Independent understands.

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