On August 10, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk branded his own website a potential rival to Twitter if his $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform ultimately doesn’t go through.
The reference came in response to a question from one of his followers.
“Have you thought about creating your own social platform? Whether [the] Twitter deal doesn’t go through,” one Twitter user asked.
Musk “X.com” replied.
Musk, the world’s richest person, did not reveal details.
This isn’t the first time Musk, who has questioned Twitter’s attitude toward free speech, has hinted at the launch of a new social media platform.
In a March 28 Twitter post, Musk said he was “think seriouslyto the option, without giving details. The post was in response to a user asking if he planned to build a platform that would consist of an open-source algorithm, prioritize free speech, and minimize propaganda.
Musk also brought up the option while discussing his interest in Twitter and the possibility of joining the company’s board of directors with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Chairman Bret Taylor on March 27, according to a report. deposit with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“As part of this discussion, Mr. Musk said he was considering various options regarding his ownership, including joining Twitter’s board of directors, seeking to make Twitter private, or launching a competitor on Twitter,” reads the statement. the document.
X.comone of the few single-letter website addresses, is named after an online financial services startup Musk co-founded in 1999. The company merged with competitor Confinity Inc., which eventually rebranded as PayPal before to be bought by eBay. in 2002.
Musk bought the domain name from PayPal in 2017. He explained on Twitter that the website has “great sentimental valueeven though he had no plans for it at the time.
Currently, the website has nothing but a small black “X” in the left corner. The general webpage appears to be the same as it was five years ago, according to a screenshot taken by Business Insider in 2017.
But at Tesla’s annual stakeholder meeting on Aug. 4, Musk said, “I kind of have a bigger picture of what I thought X.com or X Corporation might have been at the time.”
He added that Twitter would “help accelerate” the “pretty grand vision” he had thought of “three to five years.”
Legal battle on Twitter
The indication that his X.com could be a potential competitor to Twitter came amid Musk’s legal battle with Twitter.
A new SEC filing released Aug. 9 revealed that Musk had sold an additional $6.9 billion of his shares in Tesla.
In a separate Aug. 10 post, the electric vehicle maker’s chief executive said the latest sales were made in the “hopefully unlikely” event that he was ultimately forced to buy the social media company.
“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal *and* certain financial partners don’t materialize, it’s important to avoid a fire sale of Tesla stock,” Musk said on Twitter.
Musk filed for withdrawal from his multibillion-dollar acquisition deal with Twitter in July after claiming the San Francisco-based company failed to provide information needed to establish the number of automated bots and fakes. accounts on the platform.
Lawyers for the Tesla CEO claimed that for nearly two months he researched the data and information needed to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform,” which was “fundamental to Twitter’s business and financial performance”, but that Twitter had not provided this information.
Twitter sued Musk soon after to force him to honor the agreement and hold him “accountable to his contractual obligations”, according to Taylor.
Musk then hit back on Twitter on July 29, although a public version of that lawsuit is not yet available.
A five-day trial has been set for October 17, 2022 in Delaware Chancery Court.
Katabella Roberts contributed to the report.