Elon Musk’s $44 million Twitter deal may be subject to national 'security reviews': Biden Administration
Back in April, billionaire Elon Musk backed out of a deal to purchase Twitter for $44 million — only to reconsider in October and once again offer to purchase Twitter at that price. Musk would be making that purchase with the help of non-U.S. investors who include Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. But on Thursday, October 20, Bloomberg News reported that the Biden Administration had reservations about some of the investors that Musk had in mind and was debating whether or not to subject some of Musk’s activities to security reviews.
On Friday morning, October 21, the repercussions of Bloomberg’s reporting could be felt on Wall Street. Business Insider’s Kate Duffy reports that “Twitter shares fell 13 percent in premarket trading.”
According to Duffy, federal officials “are considering which tools they could use to review Musk's ventures, including action by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).”
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Duffy explains, “CFIUS carries out security reviews if a ‘transaction threatens to impair the national security of the United States,’ according to federal regulations. When reviewing a transaction, the CFIUS can recommend to the president that a deal be suspended or prohibited, per the regulations. If the Twitter acquisition was to be reviewed by CFIUS for national security reasons, the agency could recommend to President Biden that he nix the deal — something Musk himself has tried and failed to do in recent months.”
A security review of Musk’s activities, according to Bloomberg News, could include not only the Twitter deal but also, SpaceX indicating that it will no longer pay for Ukrainian forces’ use of the company’s satellite system Starlink — which, for the Ukrainian military, has become an important means of communication during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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