The recent Twitter acquisition by Elon Musk has invited the attention of the U.S. Treasury Department which is looking into the possibility of opening an investigation into the $44 billion deal. The latest move by the Treasury Department came after the Senator Chris Murphy of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Monday sent a missive to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) asking for a review of the deal. He opined that since the deal also involves non-US entities including Saudi Arabia and Qatar investors risk national security implications.
Will U.S. Treasury Investigate Elon Musk’s Twitter Purchase?
Elon Musk was ably aided by many entities and companies in his quest for Twitter Purchase. This included Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Company which invested over a combined $1.9 billion in the deal. It became the second largest shareholder of the social media company. Another large investor in the deal was Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority.
The CFIUS under the chairmanship of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is endowed with the power of blocking foreign ownership of US companies. As per the words of Senator Chris Murphy, the Twitter Purchase involves foreign entities who will be having unrestricted access to confidential information, reported Washington Post on November 2.
In the words of Senator Chris Murphy “Setting aside the vast stores of data that Twitter has collected on American citizens. Any potential that Twitter’s foreign ownership will result in increased censorship, misinformation, or political violence is a grave national security concern.”
However, it is still not clear if Treasury’s CFIUS officials are aware of the terms granting information rights to large foreign investors. Experts have also pointed out that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is improbable to be obstructed by a review of national security implications.