Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout of Twitter is being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to a new report.
Bloomberg News first reported the news on Thursday, with the FTC declining to comment.
“Under U.S. merger law, Musk is required to notify the FTC and the Justice Department of the transaction and wait at least 30 days before closing to allow an investigation into potential antitrust concerns,” Bloomberg reported.
“The FTC can ask for additional information, issuing what’s known as a second request, which would further delay closing,” the report added.
The deal is not expected to be blocked, but critics have claimed the new purchase will give Musk too much control over free speech.
A letter sent by more than two dozen groups after the announcement that Musk’s offer to buy Twitter had been accepted has also sought to discredit his purchase by urging advertisers to boycott the platform.
“In a letter sent to brands Tuesday ahead of the 2022 NewFronts digital advertising conference, more than two dozen civil society groups said marketers should secure commitments from Twitter to retain its most critical policies, including on civic integrity and hateful conduct, and threaten to withdraw funding if Twitter does not comply,” CNN reported in the article Musk linked in one of his own posts responding to the controversy.
Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …https://t.co/dBFsGjOMC8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 3, 2022
Musk questioned the effort in another post, stating, “I wonder if those funding these organizations are fully aware of what the organizations are doing.”
In addition, on Wednesday, a digital safety committee within the U.K. Parliament invited Musk to answer questions about his new changes for Twitter.
The Daily Wire previously noted the U.K. government’s concerns may be related to new draft legislation revealed in March that included potential criminal prosecution of big tech leaders who fail to comply with the country’s online safety rules.
In contrast, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Nathan Simington dismissed calls for the FCC to stop Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, instead calling for regulators and the general public to welcome it as a win for freedom of speech online.
“Some have recently called on the FCC to stop Elon Musk from acquiring Twitter,” Simington said in a statement Monday. “But nothing in the United States Code or our regulations gives us the right to interfere with this transaction. Our competition review authority does not and has never extended to internet platforms like Twitter.”
Fellow Commissioner Brendan Carr rejected the notion after Left-wing advocacy group Open Markets Institute published a statement calling on the FCC, FTC, and DOJ to block the purchase. “The FCC has no authority to block Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and to suggest otherwise is absurd,” Carr said. “I would welcome the full FCC making it clear that we will not entertain these types of frivolous arguments.”