Just hours after the news that Twitter agreed for Elon Musk to buy the social media platform, fellow multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos has offered up his thoughts on the matter and let’s just say he’s got questions.
For those not in the know, yesterday, 25 April, Twitter announced it had entered into a ‘definitive agreement’ to be bought by the Tesla boss for $44 billion (£33.3bn).
The news has been met with some scepticism, including from the former Amazon CEO who has continually switched places with Musk over the years in the spot for ‘the richest man in the world’.
Following the announcement, Musk released a statement in which he said: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
Bezos has since responded to this on Twitter – where else? – by sharing a New York Times reporter’s tweet highlighting how China is Tesla’s second biggest market, and that the electric car company is reliant on the country’s supply of batteries.
Alongside the quote, Bezos wrote, “Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”, suggesting China’s influence on the company could trickle down into a Musk-owned Twitter.
The 58-year-old entrepreneur elaborated on his initial post, and a couple of hours later he answered his own question by writing: “My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter.”
Shortly after he added: “But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”
LADbible has contacted Twitter for comment.
Whether there is a hint of sarcasm in his final statement is yet to be seen, but it’s no secret that Musk and Bezos have shared a rivalry of sorts over the years, most notably while establishing their respective space companies, SpaceX and Blue Origin.
After being named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2021, Musk savagely called out Bezos for not giving enough energy to his aerospace company, telling FT: “He does take himself a bit too seriously.
“In some ways, I’m trying to goad him into spending more time at Blue Origin so they make more progress. As a friend of mine says, he should spend more time at Blue Origin and less time in the hot tub.”
A couple of years back, Musk called Bezos a ‘copycat’ after the news that Amazon had acquired the self-driving startup Zoox, while Bezos has criticised Musk’s lofty goal of sending humans to Mars.
As for the former Amazon boss’ latest jibe, it appears he’s not alone, as actor and presenter Jameela Jamil announced her Twitter departure following the news Musk is set to own the platform.
Referencing Musk’s statement about ‘free speech’, she wrote: “I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny.”