Tesla head Elon Musk has been invited to the UK Parliament to discuss his proposed acquisition of Twitter at $44 billion.
In a letter to the billionaire, Julian Knight, the Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee of the House, requested him to appear before the lawmakers to discuss his plans to buy the microblogging platform. The Committee has urged the Tesla CEO to provide evidence about his proposals in greater detail.
Earlier, Twitter had announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be taken over by a Musk-owned entity for $44 billion. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately-held company.
“At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms,” said Knight.
He said that appearing before the committee will give Musk an ideal opportunity to set out his proposals for Twitter in more depth and we would look forward to welcoming him.
The Chair cited the Committee’s report on Covid-19 which called for transparency of bots and automated and spam accounts behind the need of discussion. Along with this, he also mentioned the UK’s Online Safety Bill, which discussed ways to balance ‘civil liberties like freedom of expression’ with the need to tackle ‘pernicious’, pervasive online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“My Committee has noted your proposed acquisition of Twitter and we are interested in the developments you propose. In particular, your intention to roll out verification for all users echoes our calls on the UK Government as part of proposed legislation, which we hope will restore the UK public’s trust in digital platforms,” said Knight.
However, Musk maintained that it will be a bit too early for him to answer. While thanking the Parliament for their invitation, Musk told AP that it would be premature at this time to accept, given that there has not yet been a shareholder vote to approve the deal.