What Does Musk’s Offer For Twitter Say About Competition On Free Speech?

By: David H. Reichenberg
– Forbes

In his latest Forbes column, Manatt Antitrust Partner David Reichenberg discussed the impact Elon Musk’s planned Twitter acquisition may have on free speech policies for companies, and why business leaders should be thinking about their own policies from a competitive differentiation perspective.

Reichenberg explained that Musk believes Twitter is missing out on acquiring users who share his own views of free speech. Because of this, other online platforms may adopt practices that attract these additional users instead. “It stands to reason that there will be a great diversity of views among business leaders on how to implement a free speech policy, with different variations on a variety of issues,” said Reichenberg. “One could call this a political question, but in business, it is also a question of competitive differentiation.” According to Reichenberg, businesses must determine how to most effectively capture users from their core audiences and implement free speech policies that drive profitability. “Given the ability to innovate and adjust quickly in the online space, there will be many opportunities for business leaders to decide which position or positions on free speech will drive the most traffic,” Reichenberg said. “One platform’s policy on an issue of mass appeal could meaningfully differentiate it from another platform, and swing fortunes in the process.” 

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