Elon Musk teases his website 'X.com' as a potential Twitter competitor as he barrels toward $44 billion trial in October

·3 min read
Elon Musk
Alex Kantrowitz
  • Elon Musk appeared to indicate "X.com" could become a Twitter competitor.

  • Musk bought the domain name in 2017 from PayPal as it had "sentimental value."

  • Twitter is attempting to force Musk to buy the social media company in court for $44 billion.

Elon Musk teased a possible Twitter competitor if he isn't forced to go through with the $44 billion deal.

Musk responded to a question on Twitter as to whether he'd launch his own site by simply tweeting "X.com" on Tuesday. The comment came after it was revealed that the billionaire had sold 7.92 million Tesla shares worth $6.9 billion ahead of the very real chance he could be forced to purchase Twitter.

"In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don't come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock," Musk said about the sale on Twitter.

It's not the first time that the billionaire has hinted at launching a direct competitor to Twitter. Ahead of his Twitter takeover offer, Musk told Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal he had considered creating his own platform.

What's more, Twitter listed the idea as a cause for concern in its lawsuit against Musk, saying they believed he could be compiling internal data about the company in an effort to replicate it.

X.com also has an interesting history. At Tesla's annual shareholder meeting last week, the CEO commented on the website which he bought back from PayPal in 2017.

"I do sort of have a grander vision for what I thought X Corporation could have been back in the day," Musk said. "It's a pretty grand vision and of course that could be started from scratch but I think Twitter would accelerate that by three to five years."

X.com was initially an online bank that was co-founded by Musk in 1999. The company eventually merged with another payment system and became PayPal which eBay bought for $1.5 billion in 2002.

In 2017, Musk bought the domain name "X.com" from PayPal, saying the site had "great sentimental value" and relaunched the website. At the time, he said he didn't have plans for it. Today, if you visit the site it merely shows a blank white page with a single small "X" in the corner of the web page. The website has remained much the same over the past five years.

If X.com became some sort of social network or Twitter substitute, Musk will likely focus on eradicating bots on the site, as well as minimizing censorship. The billionaire has been highly critical of bots on Twitter, as well as the company's ban on former President Donald Trump.

Musk might not have an option to build his own competitor as his court battle with Twitter is set to begin in October. The social media company has said it plans to make the billionaire buy the platform at the original price of $44 billion. In recent weeks, Twitter has subpoenaed many of Musk's closest business partners and friends.

The case is being tried in Delaware. Last month, Twitter appeared to win its first battle against Musk when Chancery Court judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick agreed to an expedited trial.

Multiple experts previously told Insider that Musk faces an uphill battle in his efforts to get out of the deal due to the ironclad contract he signed earlier this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider