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Twitter shareholders vote in favor of Elon Musk's $44B takeover bid 

BREAKING NEWS: Twitter shareholders vote in favor of Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover bid — as whistleblower ‘Mudge’ backs billionaire’s case to pull out of deal in Congressional testimony

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Twitter shareholders voted to sell the company to Elon Musk for $44 billion, a deal the billionaire is now furiously trying to end.

Twitter said a preliminary shareholder vote count on Tuesday found a majority to accept Musk’s April 25 offer to buy the company for $54.20 a share.

Shares of Twitter rose 2 percent after the vote, to $42.30 — a price well below deal terms that indicates the degree of investor uncertainty the buyout will experience.

Musk has fought tooth and nail to pull out of the deal, alleging that Twitter lied about the prevalence of fake accounts on the site. The dispute will go to court in Delaware next month.

Twitter shareholders have voted to sell the company to Elon Musk for $44 billion, a deal the billionaire is now scrambling to pull out of

Twitter shareholders have voted to sell the company to Elon Musk for $44 billion, a deal the billionaire is now scrambling to pull out of

Hours before the shareholder vote, Twitter’s former security chief reinforced Musk’s criticism by telling Congress that the company is plagued by weak cybersecurity that leaves it vulnerable to exploitation by “teenagers, thieves and spies.”

Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to explain his allegations.

“I’m here today because the Twitter leadership is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators and even its own board of directors,” Zatko said as he began his affidavit.

“They don’t know what data they have, where they are and where they come from, so it’s not surprising they can’t protect them,” Zatko said. “It doesn’t matter who has the keys if there are no locks.”

Zatko said that “the Twitter leadership ignored its engineers,” in part because “their executive incentives drove them to put profit before safety.”

Twitter whistleblower Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to lay out his allegations

Twitter whistleblower Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to lay out his allegations

Twitter whistleblower Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to lay out his allegations

Musk has seized Zatko’s claims and also cites an alleged severance payment to Zatko in his latest letter to the Twitter board demanding that his takeover bid end.

In Friday’s letter, Musk’s attorneys said Twitter’s failure to ask for his consent before paying $7.75 million termination fee to Zatko and his attorneys violated the merger agreement, which limited when Twitter could make such payments.

The payment, including $7 million for Zatko, “cannot be cured” and Musk is therefore “under no obligation” to complete the merger, the letter said. A copy was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Twitter labeled Musk’s latest attempt to pull out of the deal as “void and illegitimate.”

Story in development, more to come.

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