Billionaire Elon Musk has reached an agreement to acquire Twitter for approximately 44 billion dollars (£34.5 billion), the company said.
The outspoken Tesla CEO, the world’s wealthiest person, has said he wants to buy Twitter because he thinks it is not living up to its potential as a platform for “free speech”.
He says it needs to be transformed as a private company in order to build trust with users and do better at serving what he calls the “societal imperative” of free speech.
Twitter said it will become a privately held company after the sale is closed.
“Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world,” CEO Parag Agrawal said in a tweet.
“Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”
Mr Musk describes himself as a “free-speech absolutist,” although he has not been exactly clear what he means by that.
In a recent TED interview, the billionaire said he would like to see Twitter err on the side of allowing speech instead of moderating it.
Mr Musk himself, though, regularly blocks social media users who have criticised him or his company and has used the platform to bully reporters who have written critical articles about him or his company.