Washington Post: US Administration Considers Intervention in Twitter Takeover Given Sauds and Chinese Participation
Joe Biden’s administration is considering a formal review of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. According to the journal, the transaction gave access to sensitive data – including potentially Twitter users – to investors linked to Saudi Arabia and China.
According to the journal, Musk’s deal with entities that gave him funds to buy Twitter for $ 44 billion provides that any player who has invested more than $ 250 million will have access to confidential information about the company’s finances, including potentially platform users.
Meanwhile, among the largest players who have invested in the acquisition of the portal by Elon Musk are the company owned by the Saudi prince Al-Walid ibn Talal, the Binance cryptocurrency exchange established in China, and a subsidiary of the Qatar state wealth fund.
Democrat Senator Chris Murphy called on Monday to review the deal.
“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political voices and influencing US politics, are now the second largest owner of an important social media platform,” wrote on Twitter a senator with Polish roots, once mentioned by the media among the candidates for US president diplomacy.
According to the Washington Post, the US Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS), reporting to the Ministry of Finance, is considering whether it has the necessary powers to intervene. While Musk is a US citizen, the law gives CFIUS an insight into cases where foreign entities are minority shareholders. The newspaper writes that the administration, however, does not want to be “accused of using the national security process as a weapon to attack Musk.”
The billionaire claimed to have voted for Biden in the 2020 election, but has recently suggested that he supports Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, touted to be the main Republican candidate alongside Donald Trump in 2024.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, which in the past had its spy inside Twitter, which provided Saudi services with data on users, there are doubts about Musk’s relationship with China. It is about both Binance – although the company claims that it is not present in China and has not accepted any money from state-owned entities – and Tesla’s dependence on China. The billionaire electric car manufacturer has its largest factory in Shanghai, and China is also a major supplier of lithium used in batteries.
According to the two former CFIUS advisers quoted by the daily, the Saudi influence would likely be the basis for the intervention.
“I would think they had a hook in it if they wanted to take it upon themselves,” said one of them.
According to experts, possible actions by CFIUS regarding the Twitter deal would not invalidate the takeover, but would adjust the contracts to limit the influence of foreign investors.
From Washington, Oskar Górzyński (PAP)
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