OK, maybe Elon Musk wasn’t all talk when he said he thought about launching his own social media company. Musk bought a big stake in Twitter — 73,486,938 shares, to be exact — according to a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing made March 14.
That purchase makes up a roughly 9.2% passive stake that is worth about $2.9 billion based on the social media platform’s closing price on Friday. Twitter shares jumped about 26% in premarket trading Monday morning after the SEC filing was released.
Musk has a huge Twitter presence, and many of his tweets should really be taken with a grain of salt. He's made promises and tweeted thoughts about issues that haven't always panned out. But maybe not all of his tweets should not be taken lightly: Musk has been using his own profile to scrutinize Twitter itself, and he recently said he was giving serious thought to starting his own social media platform.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” Musk tweeted late last month after polling his followers about whether Twitter adheres to free speech principles.
“Is a new platform needed?” he added to his Twitter thread.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told CNBC Monday that Musk’s investment in Twitter could mean he’s trying to “take a more aggressive stance” on the platform. “This eventually could lead to some sort of buyout,” Ives said.
At the same time, Musk’s online presence has also landed him in hot water. He made an agreement with the SEC to get his tweets pre-approved after tweeting that he could take Tesla private without filing the regulatory notices with the SEC to make that sort of announcement. Musk hasn’t been all that happy with the SEC deal, but the commission’s been standing by it.