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Elon Musk Takes a Page Out of Trump’s Book

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J.D. DURKIN: One of his claims is to say that Apple  (AAPL) - Get Free Report has threatened to remove Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Free Report as an app from the app store, which is not something I think anyone has ever really thought about until now. Is there anything to back up that claim or that allegation from Elon Musk, or is this kind of smoke and mirrors?

MARTIN BACCARDAX: Not that we're aware of, at least with respect to the claim that Apple was ready to take Twitter off of the app store platform, although they have done it before with Gab and Parler as a result of their lax content moderation policy. So it's not without precedent, but there isn't any indication that it's coming anytime soon. But I actually was listening to your point about the comparison to Donald Trump. 

And I think there's some validity there because, of course, one of the sort of great observations of the former president's negotiating tactic was that he would ask for far more than he expected to get, in order to set the benchmark at a place that which even if the other side were to concede, it would still be good for him. He was adept at performing that, and as a result, that characterized a lot of his negotiations, whether that was with political rivals here in the United States, or indeed those abroad.

Musk might be doing the same thing. He might essentially be throwing down a gauntlet that doesn't exist. And that, of course, is the threat of Apple taking Twitter off of the App Store platform in order to ensure that they don't do it. Because if he engenders enough, sort of support from his followers and people who rely on Twitter for their information, he may feel that Apple will be pressured not to take them off the app store platform as a result. 

So it could be a tactic in that regard or it simply could be an indication that he is unable to control some of his impulses in terms of sharing information or sharing his thoughts with Twitter followers and maybe not understanding exactly the kind of influence he has with 100 million plus followers on the world's most watched social media platform. So it's hard to know exactly what the answer is, but there's no question about it. We are still talking about him and in a platform that needs relevance, that's probably not a bad thing.

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