Technology

Murphy calls for national security review of foreign investors in Musk Twitter acquisition consortium

Associated Press-Godofredo A. Vásquez
A sign is pictured outside the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. A court has given Elon Musk until Friday to close his April agreement to acquire the company after he earlier tried to back out of the deal.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called on Monday for a Committee on Foreign Investment investigation into Saudi Arabian investors in Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover.

“Today I am requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment — which reviews acquisitions of U.S. businesses by foreign buyers — to conduct an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia’s purchase of Twitter,” Murphy wrote.

The tweet by Murphy came days after Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud released a statement on behalf of Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) announcing the corporation’s massive investment in Twitter.

The statement broadcast the rollover of KHC and Prince Al Waleed’s combined 34,948,975 shares to “the ‘New’ Twitter, led by Elon Musk.”

The millions of shares owned by the Saudi entities are valued at $1.89 billion.

“KHC & PO are jointly the largest investor after Elon Musk,” wrote the prince, referring to himself using the acronym “PO.”

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, run by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, owns 16.9 percent of KHC.

Alwaleed discussed KHC’s ownership of Twitter shares as part of its “long-term investment strategy.”

In response to the news about the Saudis’ partnership with Musk’s Twitter, Murphy wrote, “We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting U.S. politics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform.”

“If this deal goes through, two of the most important U.S. social media platforms will be owned, in whole or in part, by China (TikTok) and Saudi Arabia (Twitter),” he added.

Tags Chris Murphy Elon Musk Mohammed bin Salman Prince
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