After being banned from several social media platforms, former US president Donald Trump has announced plans to launch his own app, TRUTH Social, in a bid to “stand up” to bigger companies.
TRUTH Social will be created through a new company formed by a merger of the Trump Media and Technology Group and a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), both organisations said in a statement.
“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable,” Mr Trump said in the statement.
“I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.
“Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) was founded with a mission to give a voice to all.
“I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech.”
The social network, set for a beta launch next month and full rollout in early 2022, is the first of three stages in the company’s plans.
It will then deliver a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG that will feature entertainment, news and podcasts.
On its website, the company reveals plans to eventually compete against Amazon’s AWS cloud service and Google Cloud.
“For so long, Big Tech has suppressed conservative voices,” the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, told Fox News.
“Tonight my father signed a definitive merger agreement to form what will ultimately be the Trump Media and Technology Group and TRUTH Social — a platform for everyone to express their feelings.”
Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms banned Mr Trump from their services after hundreds of his supporters rioted at the US Capitol on January 6.
The protests and destruction came after Mr Trump falsely claimed his November election loss was due to widespread fraud, an assertion rejected by multiple courts and state election officials.
The deal will list Trump Media and Technology Group on the Nasdaq through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp, a blank-cheque acquisition firm led by former investment banker Patrick Orlando.
TMTG will receive $US293 million ($391 million) in cash that Digital World Acquisition Corp had in trust, assuming no shareholder of the acquisition redeems their shares.
Mr Orlando, who has worked at Deutsche Bank and BT Capital Markets, has launched at least four SPACs and has plans for two more, according to his firm’s website and regulatory filings.
But none of the SPACs have completed a deal yet.
A China-based SPAC led by Mr Orlando failed last month to complete a merger with Giga Energy Incorporated.
It would have valued the transportation solutions provider at $US7.3 billion because it could not deliver the cash required, according to regulatory filings.
Shareholder redemptions reduce the amount of cash that Digital World Acquisition Corp will have available to give to Trump Media and Technology Group at the closing of the deal.
The companies said in the statement the completion of the merger was subject to redemptions not exceeding an agreed minimum cash requirement. The statement did not disclose what the requirement was, though that detail is typically contained in a regulatory filing that should follow on Thursday.
The deal values Trump Media and Technology Group at $US875 million, including debt, according to the statement.
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