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Musk’s Twitter Deal, SpaceX Starlink Satellite Network May Be Subject to National Review by US Officials: Report




By Reuters | Updated: 21 October 2022

Biden Administration officials are discussing whether the United States should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national review including the deal for Twitter Inc and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The SpaceX chief in recent times has taken to Twitter to announce proposals to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, and also said SpaceX cannot indefinitely fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine. He later backed down and said he would continue to bear the costs of the service.

The discussions to review Musk’s ventures are at an early stage, sources told Bloomberg, adding that officials in the U.S. government are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures.

One possibility is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is under the U.S. Department of Treasury, to review Musk’s ventures, the report added.

An element of Musk’s $44 billion (Rs. 3,64,500 crore) Twitter deal which could trigger a CFIUS review is the presence of foreign investors in Musk’s consortium, Bloomberg said.

The group includes Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Binance, which was founded in Shanghai.

A spokesperson for the US Treasury Department said CFIUS does not publicly comment on transactions that it may or may not be reviewing.

Twitter and SpaceX did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Musk had said he would walk away from the deal to buy Twitter in May alleging the company understated the number of bot and spam accounts on the social media platform, which started a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

Earlier this month, Musk reversed course and said he will proceed with the deal on original terms.

© Thomson Reuters 2022