Timeline: How did the world's richest man, Elon Musk, end up buying Twitter?

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. Credit: AP

The world's richest man, Elon Musk, has completed a $44 billion deal to take over social media giant Twitter.

It comes after months of public sparring between both sides and even the threat of a court case to force through the deal when the billionaire threatened to pull out.

But now the Tesla and SpaceX boss is in control of the social media platform.

He promised to protect free speech on the platform and end bans on controversial, including former US President Donald Trump.

Since taking over he has said no one will be unbanned until after a new Twitter content moderation council is formed.

Here is a timeline of how the deal unfolded:

Musk becomes Twitter's largest shareholder

Musk also owns SpaceX and Tesla. Credit: Ap

April 4: A filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows Mr Musk bought up just over 9% of Twitter shares, at the time making him the firm’s largest shareholder.

April 5: Twitter announces Mr Musk would be joining the company’s board.

April 11: Mr Musk reverses his decision and Twitter confirms the billionaire will not be joining the board.

April 14: Mr Musk submits an offer to buy the company outright. He offers $44 billion (£36.5 billion) – or $54.20 (£45) per share.

April 15: In response, Twitter plans to implement what is known as a “poison pill” policy, which would allow existing shareholders to buy stock at discounted rates to dilute Musk’s holdings and prevent the sale. But Mr Musk and Twitter still enter into negotiations over a deal.

April 25: A deal is agreed on the price Musk initially offered – $44 billion.

May 10: During a public appearance, Mr Musk says he would reverse Twitter’s current permanent ban on the account of former US president Donald Trump.

Musk U-turns on deal

Musk now boasts over 100 million followers on the site. Credit: AP

May 17: After days of sparring with Twitter bosses, Mr Musk says the deal “cannot move forward” until he gets “proof” that bots are only 5% of spam accounts on the platform. A number of experts suggest he is trying to force the renegotiation of the deal at a lower price. On the same day, Twitter says it still planned to “close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement” with Mr Musk.

July 7: It's reported that Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is “in peril” after his team concluded Twitter’s figures on spam accounts are not verifiable.

July 8: The deal collapses after Mr Musk sends a letter saying he is terminating the acquisition. In it, he says Twitter has “not complied with its contractual obligations” surrounding the deal, namely giving him enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform”. In response, the chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor, said it is “committed” to closing the transaction.

July 12: Twitter launches legal action. Mr Musk later countersues, accusing the company of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.

August 23: A former company executive at Twitter turned whistleblower, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, says the microblogging website has substantial security problems that place personal user data and potentially national security at risk. Twitter disputes Mr Zatko’s account.

Musk U-turns for a second time

Mr Musk has already planned a host of reforms since taking over Twitter last week. Credit: AP

October 4: Twitter said it plans to close a deal to sell the company to Mr Musk after receiving an offer.

October 6: A judge delays the looming trial between Twitter and Mr Musk in order to give the billionaire time to complete the acquisition.

October 26: Mr Musk posts a video of himself entering Twitter’s head office in San Francisco carrying a sink, just days before the court deadline to complete the deal.

He also changes his Twitter bio to refer to himself as "Chief Twit" and updates his location to Twitter headquarters in a sign the deal looks set to be closed.

October 27: Sources confirm Mr Musk has taken over Twitter and dismissed three of its top executives.

October 28: Mr Musk announces no one will be unbanned from the sit until a review by a “content moderation council”.He said the council will be made up of people with widely diverse viewpoints and no major decisions will be made before the council convenes.Mr Trump also said he was "very happy Twitter is now in sane hands", but did not comment on any possible return.

Mr Musk also claimed the social media platform restored embattled Kanye West’s account before he finalised his acquisition of the company.

Earlier this month the US rapper, who has legally changed his name to Ye, was locked out of Twitter and Instagram over antisemitic posts.

Several companies, including Adidas, ended their partnerships with West after the posts, and he dropped off the Forbes billionaire list.

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