tv Inside Story Al Jazeera April 20, 2022 10:30am-11:01am AST
protests against raising prices and peru have stranded hundreds of foreigners near could go in the peruvian. andy's unions went on strike there on monday, blocking roads and shutting down. most transportation rosters are demanding the government do more to lower water electricity and fuel prices. ah, hello again. the headlines on al jazeera, more than 500 ravinia refugees escaped from a temporary detention center and malaysia early on wednesday. 6 died after being hit by vehicles when they fled across a highway. police say nearly 400 have been found and re arrested. florence louis has more from call. the police have confirmed that there was a riot that preceded the breakout. detainees broke down doors, grills, and they escaped. more than $500.00 of them escaped. now there were more than 650
people being held at the supply, backup temporary detention center. and they were around $23.00 security personnel. but they were completely overwhelmed as to what caused the riot police say they do not know and that this is under investigation. but the cut, the state police chief, did concede that they could have been feelings of dissatisfaction among the detainees. but he did not elaborate. city officials in new delhi or destroying what they say are illegal structures despite in yes, top court ordering a whole city eviction drive 4 days ago, there was communal violence in mid july and your poor area during a hindu procession. the u. s. has begun delivering more artillery to ukraine, the u. k. and canada are also promising to send additional military aid. he was preparing to defend its eastern dawn by region against a new russian assault. a hong kong court has sent him a pro democracy to their former radio host before the months in jail contact. she
was convicted of position last month. he was a prominent face in the mass protests that swept through hong kong in recent years . police, i'm sure lanka have put a city near columbia under curfew after anti government protest against the growing economic crisis officers. officers and rumble cannot open fire at approaches on tuesday, killing one person an injury. nearly 20 other officials say police started shooting to stop for testers. from setting fire to a fuel thank are communities in south africa are starting to rebuild their homes a week after devastating floods killed more than 440 people. families living in the province of quadrille, the natal, or hit the hardest. nearly 4000 homes were destroyed. displacing more than 40000 people. troop 7 deployed to the area to help with the relief efforts. we'll have more news at the top of the hour right here on al jazeera up next, that's inside story. bye bye. are trying to m u. s. 3, walking their way to war in the struggle over ukraine. here's the test for
president joe biden with really trying to do is rewrite the security architecture in europe. it's your personal united states. you seriously go to walk and chew gum at the same time, your weekly take on us politics and society. that's the bottom line. will a lot of take over twitter affiliated areas made a controversial offer. replacing many hurdles. what's driving my quest to own twitter and what would it possible paper the mean for this platform? this is inside story. ah hello, welcome to the program. i'm kid vanelle, twist his board, his armed itself against a possible takeover of the world's richest man said he wants to buy twitter. billionaire ilan mosque has made
a $43000000000.00 offer. it says the social media giant needs to be taken private to grow and to become a platform for free speech. but the twitter board is fighting back. it's adopted a so called poison pill plan that will prevent anyone from owning more than a 15 percent stake in the company that allows others to buy additional shares at a discount. making a buyout, much more difficult mosque recently increased his stake to 9 percent, making him twice as largest shareholder must calls himself a free speech absolutist opposed to any restrictions on what someone can say on social media. as long as it has to the laws of the country where the platform is based, he's posted a series of tweets indicating he thinks twitter is heading in the wrong direction. it isn't the 1st time mosse because railed against was claiming it represses free speech. that he personally blames on the platforms, reliance on ad revenues or news of the did fit the internet and especially twitter on fire among those responding with saudi arabian invest
a prince. i'll will lead ban tallow between his saying that as one of the major shareholders in twitter, he rejected a takeover bid by elan mosque. he said, i don't believe that the proposed offer by musk, $54.20 per share, comes close to the intrinsic value of twitter, given its growth prospects. the. let's bring in our guests from not her dom, indiana, indiana. rather, we have tim hubbard, assistant professor of management at the university of notre dans mendoza. college of business from atlanta is jim addison, social media sector, lead glass wing benches, and from new york. william cohen found the of puck news and former mergers and acquisitions. investment bank, i thank you all very much for joining us here on inside story. i'd like to start with you mr. anderson. let's start with walter. stay care. how important is twitter for the public discourse and why is this take the bid by it on mosque has sparks
such intense reaction? you can, your twitter has long pushed above its weight class if you will. it's important far seems to exceed its performance financially. it has been a mediocre investment, i think most analysts would say from a financial perspective, but it is embroiled in many of the most consequential discussions around politics, the economy, et cetera. and so i think in many ways ely, mosque is correct and identifying, wow, this is an under leverage dancer. somebody could do more with twitter, so i don't think he's wrong in going after it, because it really is an important part of what we do. tim hubbard, he almost said that this is about ensuring there's an arena for free speech, so we can all talk freely within the bounds of the law. do you think he's serious about this? take a bit or do you think he's just making a point? i think honestly, he's making a point if you stand back and think about what he wants to do to achieve its free
speech and you know, an open platform for everybody and to move the company in that direction. i don't necessarily think he needs to buy the company. instead, even just showing that it's possible to buy twitter puts twitter in a position where then they have to think, okay, how can we position our platform? how can we set the users up in order to avoid the need for a take over by somebody but like you on musk, william, call it in new york. so far, the board of twitter has responded by triggering the so called poison pill plan. to explain to us what, what that is, what it needs what does it. ready will allow other shareholders to buy shares of twitter stock less. ready expensively than they're currently trading for in the market. if ilan must buys around 15 percent of the twitter stock now. ready div poison pills are merely away for a potential hurdle if you will or, and acquire a hostile require to buy
a company. i don't think they've ever been actually invoked. i don't think there's never been a time when shareholders of actually bought shares of stock in their company at a discount to try to prevent a hostile take over. so what they end up being is just, they are another hurdle that a potential of wire has to get over and or is the potential acquire to deal directly with the board of directors. how do you think this is going to play out then? do you think this will just be a hurdle for moscow? i know he twisted rather cryptically. love me. tender. referring obviously to a song, but maybe also to a tender offer. right. i think everything hinges now on whether or not he can raise the financing. he already has spent $2600000000.00 with his own money. let's say he needs. ready other 40000000000 obviously as the war. well we think
he's the world's richest man with, you know, and so can he raise the j 40000000000 that he. ready needs or the say, you know, he can raise some of it and dad navy was the baby needs to raise can put in 20 another 20. ready in his own money, kenny raised another $15000000000.00 from 3rd parties to make this possible if he can. it's games that match it's over here by twitter, whether anybody wants to do or not, whether he. ready wants to or not if he can't raise that money, then it's some point. does he have that kind of money? if he's the world's richest man, radically, he does, we don't know how much of his tesla stock, which is, of course, the foundation of his wealth. how much of that capitalist doc, which is worth around a $175000000000.00. he is. ready already pledged or margin or hypothesis aided.
ready somebody else for various loans to pay taxes, living life, whatever it is that he does, or space x, or the boring company, some other project. it's not known how much of that that he's already pledged. so the question is, is how much is left on pledge? and at what point does he risk is the value of in tesla to buy twitter. i mean, i think he's a lot of things, but i'm pretty sure he's not going to risk what he's built up in tesla just by to sure. jim anderson, he has talked to masters, talked a lot about they said that the take of a bid being purely for the good of society for the good of humanity almost. what would, what would lead him to make both sorts of statements? what is it that is going on behind the scenes at towards it in terms of algorithms that has become such an issue? while the funny, you know, a line mark is one of the most consequential entrepreneurs of our generation,
probably the past 50 years. so i will certainly give him that, but trying to understand what's going on in his mind. he is an exercise in frustration. you said he tweeted, love me tender he did i. if any of us think he was tweeting about a song, you know, let's, let's not kid ourselves, we know he's playing a game. right. and he's, he's clever. he, i think enjoys being difficult and unpredictable. and he lapsed onto, you mentioned the algorithms in the free speech. those are the 2 things he's latched onto and for such a smart, brilliant, really, man, he's been maddeningly non specific about what he really wants to accomplish in and around free speech. other than i advocate for free speech and intern round algorithms, other than i advocate for opening up algorithm, both of those are enormously complex topics that involve a lot of subtleties. and he has been maddeningly non specific. i think the idea of owning twitter is a lot more interesting to him than the reality of owning twitter would be tim
howard would. would you agree with that assessment? i completely agree that owning twitters is not as luxurious, if you, well as, as, you know, fighting with twitter and proposing buying twitter. if we stand back and we think about the law mosque and what he wants to accomplish in his lifetime, he wants to do things that are going to push humanity forward and going to mars and electrifying vehicles. these types of grand challenges are where if he spends his time, he can really cement his legacy, going and taking over twitter and spending his time instead at twitter is important . yes, for free speech around the world. but at the same time, he might view his time better spent, hopefully trying to accomplish some of these big, big problems that only he is prepared to tackle william cohen. twitter wants to double its revenues by 2023, with 315000000 monetize zable. daily active uses as if we needed a reminder that we are monetize
a bowl active uses. how ambitious it plans, how has with it compared to say facebook from a profitability perspective the twitter is wolf, fully unprofitable. i think, you know, you. ready said the beginning of the show. ready that it is not a great business. it is, it is not a great business. it has punched above its weight. you know, it, you know, last, last year you know, if you just don't do the ad backs, which of course, twitter would like you to do it made about, you know, $56000000.00 would be the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. which is of course the key metric of profitability on wall street . now they had us $750000000.00 league. ready settlement as part of that. so if you add that back, maybe they did something like $800000000.00 in 2021. in previous years it was
around 950000000. yes. somewhat less than a $1000000000.00 of me. but i mean, you know, i don't know live, and it's based books are now laid. ready but they probably do a $1000000000.00 and. ready died in a week and so you know, apple probably. ready ready ready of either died in a day but you know, twitter is not a great a business. and one of the things that you on mosque is talk about tweeting, leading up to. ready offer surrounding this offer is that he wants to take ads off the platform. well, you know, that might be great for the user experience, but it's going to decimate the now of, of twitter. so, you know, i don't know how we can propose taking this company private, and then decimating, you know, could it be a great company, the mr. cohen? i mean, could it could be a money making business i mean with, with
a lot musk i believe that stocks and twitter up more than 20 percent since ilan mosque disclosed his stake into it on, on april the 4th. it's almost like he's just having him involved, attracts investment and tracks height. it tracks excitement, you know, couldn't go on to do great things. well, the fact that he's made an offer for the company and the stock price going out is not the same as the company generating, you know, profitability and even, i mean, you know, could it be, i think a bigger problem is not, could it be a great company, i think the biggest problem the deal on most, you know, is like the dog that catches the, the car here, you know, is he going. ready to do things that alienate many of the users on twitter that make it relevant. ready what makes twitter so relevant is the great debate that takes place all day every day. if he does things like, you know,
bring back donald trump. for example. he's going to alienate something like half the 2 thirds of the users and they're going to drop off the system and go somewhere out and he's going to lose them and they are going to be monetized, as you said. so i'm not sure exactly what he has. ready my year, i don't, i don't see his vision with his company making it right. kim addison, as we mentioned earlier, saudi arabia the prince already been. tyler is a major shareholder of with he said in 2015 that he had he had at that point to 5.2 percent stake. now he is tweeting his opposition to this take all the saying that the offer doesn't come close to the intrinsic value of twitter. do you think for him? it's purely a cash thing. or might saudi have pressured, the prince and into opposition as, as a little mosque actually implied when he tweeted water, the kingdom views on journalists, freedom of speech. is there more going on there?
do you think? i'm sure there is more going on. i mean, you know, the boards of directors have their own intrigue and their own dynamics and twitters is somewhat legendary for having, you know, inside the palace intrigue, if you will. so i'm sure there's a lot of dynamics. i somehow doubt, for a lot of the people involved here that is really about the cache, whether it be the kingdom of saudi arabia or ilan mosque, frankly, you know, twitter, this goes back to the point we've made of twitter punching above its weight. class is a really important platform and you know, there's a lot of people who would be interested in having either de facto control or absolute control over what goes on over the moderation decisions that are made there. and i suspect that's a big, big chunk of the, of the opposition as well, is just a sense that, wow, if you must get control of twitter, if he owns it, especially if he then makes it a lot more valuable, then that's not going to reflect well on the, on the previous board of directors, who almost certainly all will be pushed out and who did not unlock that economic
potential. sure. tim habit, you are an assistant professor of management. how would you describe the law mosque management style? i think he's the type of person that's a problem solver. i think he involves himself in projects and in businesses that are very technically advanced. and rather than shy away from the technical problems that play the technologies these trying to develop, he brings together a group of smart people that are able to then to tackle the problem in a way that other companies just aren't. and so if we stand back and we think about how he's able to reuse rockets, how he's able to develop battery technology that other companies just can't. i think his leadership style really is that excitement it is that bringing together people who are able to really tackle these deed problems and that's unique, that's putting in a position where he's a bit of a visionary, where he's able then to control the discourse, but also as he's developing these technologies in these individual companies, he's finding ways to then take those technologies and use them in other areas and
other industries in ways that weren't necessarily thought of in the beginning. and so his management style is very much bringing people together that are very smart to tackle problems that are very, very complicated. what about has unpredictability though, because if you're a major shareholder in any of the companies that he owns, you know, any of his tweets, anything he says in an interview, under the influence, perhaps you don't, you don't know what he's, what he's going to say or do next, so i mean is that, is that not mission? that is absolutely an issue. that's the noise, if you will, around the, the innovation and the foresight that he has. you know, if you stand back and you think about chief executive officers, if you sit down with a typical see, you're going to ask them about an industry lookout for a few years. you can ask about the company, what they're going to be doing in 5 years. when you sit down with the law must go, you asked the question, where's humanity going to be in 2050? and that's a completely different thing. and so, yeah,
the antics that he puts out are, are very disturbing at times that are very controversial. but at the same time, the core of what he's doing is really big. it's really trying to advance humanity. and so i kind of feel like at times, yeah, we like to talk about those things. but at the same time, we really should be focusing on the good things that he's doing. and those are quite numerous. char william cohen, just speaking about what mosque has been teaching, he also tweeted that jack dorothy leaving the board of twitter meant that the board collectively owns almost no. she is in twitter and therefore that, and i quote their economic interest a simply not aligned with shareholders. does he have a point? absolutely. he has a point. aside from jack dorsey, who's leaving the board in may, jack dorsey has around 2.25 percent ownership steak and twitter. the rest of that board has weigh less than one percent ownership stake. and so they don't,
you know, they are fiduciary for shareholders. but in terms of, you know, actually having any skin in the game here, they have 0 skin in the game and i would also add for your viewers that proves i will lead. ready who wants to part time they have own. ready something like 5 percent of twitter are no longer does. i'm not sure what he owns at the moment. i'm not sure what, how relevant it is that he's tweeting about it is view of, of you on must offer. he's and he's not involved anymore. and he's not on the board, he's has no influence. he's not a large shareholder, so not sure why anybody would listen to him at the moment. but you know, the key here is some. ready big shareholders that are out there, which are a big retail asset management companies like black
rock, like morgan stanley, like vanguard, which is the largest shareholder at 10 percent. so i think they're all likely to take the. ready if this financing can be firmed up, if, if you are much can crew to his financial advisor, morgan stanley, and if he can prove to goldman sachs who's representing the twitter board and the twitter board that he has just been asking, why got then those big shareholders vanguard, black rock, morgan stanley, are going to go in, take this money and run. this is the best thing that's happened to twitter in, in, in years. jim addison, what would this just go down the road and imagine what would a twitter with an even mock having a controlling state? what would that look like? what changes could we see? i mean, i know is included called to remove advertising and dropping w from the name twitter. but apart from that, i mean, what could that look like?
so i think it would be wildly unpredictable that that's maybe part of the excitement. i think when people look at this, as you, you mentioned earlier, wow, he's made twitter relevant in a way that the topic of twitter, not just what's going on on twitter by other people, just the copy of the topic of the company and the platform itself. so i think that in many ways that would be a net positive. it would continue because everybody's on the edge of their seat wondering what even mark is going to do next. i think pragmatically, he has said he does not agree with the advertising oriented business, but as william said, i mean that's like 95 percent of their revenue. if anybody could pull off a fundamental transformation of a company's revenue model and saying, we are 95 percent ad dependent and i want us to be 5 percent ad depended in the next say 3 years, you know, even mosque. that's the kind of big thing that he could pull off and they could turn subscription to twitter into a subscription business. there's a lot of other things they could do that are not tweaking around the margins and trying to get 20 percent growth. but fundamentally changing the nature of the company. so i would expect at least those things to be under discussion for
somebody like, you know, i'm up again whether he has the time, the patients. and whether that, the big enough legacy as tim had said, is that what he wants to spend his time and how he wants to leave is marguerite. rebranding and re reformulating. what constitutes twitter? i think that's the open question. 10 hubbard. where do you think this is all headed? does it at the very least continue to bring to the, for the question all free speech on social media? or how do we do we moderate speech on social media to keep people safe, to stop information? what, how do you see this playing out? if we spend back, can we think about what's already happened? we're having the discussion on free speech right now. and i think even if he doesn't go through with the, the buyout of, of twitter. he's already made a mark and already had everybody stand back and think about free speech and what it means. and what happens when a company decides to regulate speech. and a lot of times we think of these social media companies as firm companies that
aren't going to be changing very much. and so if they take a stance on free speech, that might be controversial. a lot of times we kind of just go, oh okay, yeah, and we move along our day. but at this point in time, he's making a stand back and look at twitter, look at these space. facebook and other companies that are working to regulate speech to some extent, and actually say, well, you can actually, you can come in and you can change the firm, you can buy out the firm, you can change the board of directors, you can change out management, and drastically change the position of the company, but if that does not, then putting another one man in control, you know, if it's all about decentralization and you know, putting the weight, making everything transparent. is that not just counter intuitive when in fact, what he's looking to do is have a controlling stake. yeah, i think in one key thing, you know, when having the controlling stake is that a lot of the social media companies, you know, the, the interest in them rises and,
to buy this company. there's no question the $54.20 is a fair price for this company. i mean. busy $43000000000.00 for a company to make a $1000000000.00 a year and he dies plenty generous. plenty fair if he can range the. ready financing and prove that he's got it, it's over or i will over there. thank you very much for joining us, gentlemen. tim hubbard, jim addison and william cohen, and thank you for watching. you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al jazeera dot com, and to further discussion, go to facebook page. since facebook dot com forward slash a jane said story can also join the conversation on twitter. handle is at a j inside story. for me, kim fidel and the whole team here and oh, how about the
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