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Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner texted Elon Musk urging him to buy Twitter days before Musk's stake in the company became public. 'Will be fun,' Döpfner wrote.

Sep 29, 2022, 23:38 IST
Business Insider
Elon Musk.REUTERS/Adrees Latif
  • Text messages between Elon Musk and various notables in tech and business have been released.
  • In one private text exchange, the CEO of Axel Springer, Insider's parent company, speaks to Musk.

Days before Elon Musk's investment in Twitter became public, he was already being urged to acquire the company by a number of notable figures in business, including Mathias Döpfner.

Döpfner is the CEO of Axel Springer, parent company of Insider Inc., the publisher of this story. In a private text exchange dated March 30, 2022, unveiled Thursday in as part of Twitter's lawsuit against Musk, Döpfner urged Musk to buy Twitter.

"Why don't you buy Twitter?" Döpfner asks. "We run it for you. And establish a true platform of free speech. Would be a real contribution to democracy."

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Musk replied a few minutes later, according to the text log, saying "Interesting idea."

Döpfner wrote back, "I'm serious. It's doable. Will be fun."


Insider emailed Axel Springer spokespeople asking if Döpfner could comment on Thursday. They did not immediately respond to the request.

The exchange took place several days before Musk's accumulation of just over 9% of Twitter's stock became public April 4. The log of Musk's text messages over a series of weeks shows the extent to which he was already discussing his potential involvement in the company with acquaintances and executives, including leaders of Twitter.

Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in late April. Since then, he has attempted to back out of the agreement, leading to the current court case. Twitter is trying to force the billionaire to buy the company at the agreed upon price. The case is set to go to trial next month.

Are you a Twitter employee or someone with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.

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