Tech Roundup: Musk throws a monkey wrench into his Twitter acquisition saga

Tech Roundup: Musk throws a monkey wrench into his Twitter acquisition saga

Saul Martinez / Getty Images News

Leave it to Elon.

Just when it looked like the week was going to end without much drama coming from Musk and his plans to acquire Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), the inimitable Tesla (TSLA) chief executive dropped a bombshell that rattled the psyches of just about everyone connected to his $ 44 billion buyout. On Friday the 13th, no less, Musk went on Twitter (TWTR) – because, where else would he go? – to say that his deal for the social-media giant is on hold.

Musk said in his tweet that the “Twitter deal [is] temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam / fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users. “Needless to say, Twitter (TWTR) shares went into the red early Friday, and closed the day down by almost 10%.

But, as it that weren’t enough, Musk sort-of back-tracked from his initial tweet when he went back on Twitter (TWTR) – again, because where else would he put some news out? – to say he is “still committed” to the acquisition.

For what it’s worth, and with Musk’s wealth, almost any amount of money is relative, both Musk, and Twitter (TWTR) each face a $ 1 billion breakup fee if either party calls off the acquisition for various reasons.

Meanwhile, Twitter (TWTR) Chief Executive Parag Agrawal made sure to get his two-cents-worth in about all the recent drama going on with his company. Late Friday, Agrawal – in a series of tweets, because, well, because this is Twitter, remember? – brought up why a “lame duck” CEO such as he would be making changes to the company’s leadership and engaging in cost- cutting measures when Twitter (TWTR) has already agreed to Musk’s buyout offer.

In his series of tweets, Agrawal told the public, and company employees, that he still expects Musk’s acquisition to close, and that “No one at Twitter is working just to keep the lights on.”

As if all of that wasn’t enough, former President Donald Trump weighed in on the matter. Trump took his Truth Social platform to say that he thinks Musk won’t buy Twitter (TWTR) at a “ridiculous price.”

Well, with all of that going on, it wouldn’t be surprising for anything else happening in the tech sector to have gotten short shrift in terms of investors ’attention this week. But, Wall Street spoke loudly with regards to the market performance of several tech-sector bellwethers.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) fell to a year-to-date low of $ 138.80 on Wednesday, as the iPhone giant’s shares dropped to their lowest levels since October 2021. Apple suffered due to a broad selloff of tech stocks that was fueled, at least in part, by investor nervousness resulting from the latest data on inflation.

To add stroke to injury, Apple (AAPL), which four months ago became the world’s first company to reach a market capitalization of $ 3 trillion, was overtaken for the title of the world’s most-valuable company by Saudi Aramco.

Apple (AAPL) also officially closed the book on the iPod, the product that Steve Jobs launched almost 21 years ago and which sparked the company on the path to becoming worth $ 3 trillion. The company said it would stop selling the iPod Touch, the last of its iPod models, when current supplies run out.

Apple (AAPL) wasn’t alone with its shares slumping to new low points this week.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) hit a 52-week-low of $ 42.01 a share on Thursday, as semiconductor companies continued to wade through a marsh of weakness that has hampered the sector’s performance for much of the year. Nvidia (NVDA) slumped to as low as $ 155.67 a share – the stock’s lowest point since May 2021, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) fell to a year-to-date low of $ 83.27 a share on Thursday before rallying more than 9% on Friday.

With prices on the whole continuing to rise at levels not seen in decades, there were some signs of consumers tightening their belts regarding disposable income. Research firm NPD Group said spending on videogames in the first quarter of the year fell 8% from the same period in 2021.

Leave a Comment