It appears that Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner had urged Elon Musk to acquire Twitter days before the Tesla CEO’s stake in the social media company became public. During a text conversation, Döpfner even offered to run Twitter so that it could become a true platform for free speech.
Musk and Döpfner’s messages were unveiled Thursday as part of Twitter’s lawsuit against the Tesla CEO. In their text exchange, which was dated March 30, 2022, the Axel Springer CEO noted that Twitter — if it does become a true free speech platform — would provide a real contribution to democracy.
“Why don’t you buy Twitter? We run it for you. And establish a true platform of free speech. Would be a real contribution to democracy,” Döpfner wrote. Musk seemed to seriously consider Döpfner’s suggestion, noting in a reply sent minutes later that it was an “Interesting idea,” according to an Insider report.
“I’m serious. It’s doable. Will be fun,” the Axel Springer CEO added.
Both Musk and Döpfner are outspoken advocates for democracy — the two CEOs hinted at as much during an interview earlier this year. As such, it was no surprise that democracy was brought up in Musk and Döpfner’s text conversation in the days leading up to the revelation of the Tesla CEO’s stake in Twitter.
In a way, Musk’s text messages reveal the extent to which he was already talking to friends about his potential engagement in the social media company. And based on the messages that have been released so far, it appears that Musk saw a notable amount of support from his peers such as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
Following a brief, bitter back-and-forth, Musk and Twitter agreed on a $44 billion purchase price for the social media company. Musk has since tried to break the agreement over Twitter’s fake and spam accounts, which resulted in the ongoing legal dispute between the two parties. The case is scheduled for trial this coming October.
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