Trump Media & Technology Group

Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), also known as T Media Tech LLC,[2] is an American media and technology company founded in January 2021 by former U.S. president Donald Trump.[3][4] On January 1, 2022, Republican U.S. representative Devin Nunes resigned his House seat to become the organization's CEO.[5][6] In February 2022, TMTG launched a social network called Truth Social.[7]

Trump Media & Technology Group
TypePrivate
Industry
FoundedFebruary 2021; 1 year ago (2021-02)
HeadquartersPalm Beach, Florida, US
Key people
Donald Trump (Founder, Chairman)[1]
Devin Nunes (CEO)
ProductsTruth Social, TMTG+ TMTG News
Websitewww.tmtgcorp.com

OperationsEdit

TMTG intends to use a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to facilitate its becoming a publicly-traded company. On October 20, 2021, TMTG and Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), a publicly-traded SPAC, announced that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement that would combine the two entities, allowing TMTG to become a publicly-traded company. DWAC was created with the help of ARC Capital, a Shanghai-based firm specializing in listing Chinese companies on American stock markets that has been a target of SEC investigations for misrepresenting shell corporations.[8][9][10] Some investors were surprised to learn that their investment money was being used to finance a Trump company.[11] In 2021, the DWAC Trump venture was linked with another company, China Yunhong Holdings based in Wuhan, Hubei,[12][13] until its lead banker who was running the merger promised to sever ties with China in December 2021, stating Yunhong was to "dissolve and liquidate".[14][15] In February 2022, Reuters reported that the connection between Shanghai-based ARC Capital and Digital World was more extensive than thought, with ARC having offered money to get the SPAC off the ground.[15]

The company's announced future product offerings include a social network (Truth Social) and on-demand programming (TMTG+).[16]

In December 2021, TMTG said it had raised $1 billion in private investment in public equity (PIPE) funding. The investors are unidentified. The Financial Times reported the expected proceeds of the PIPE and SPAC funding to TMTG would be $1.25 billion.[17]

On December 14, 2021, TMTG announced that it had entered into a "wide-ranging technology and cloud services agreement” with Rumble, and that Rumble would operate part of the TRUTH Social network as well as TMTG+. [18][19]

In October 2021 it was reported, based on information provided by congresstrading.com, that Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene bought shares of DWAC.[20][21][22]

In September 2022, DWAC secured an extension from shareholders for up to six months for it to perform the TMTG deal. This left DWAC shares trading at $24, down from a 2021 high of $175.[23]

Truth SocialEdit

On February 21, 2022, TMTG released Truth Social on iOS. The network faced substantial and persistent scaling problems, and in early April 2022, Reuters reported that Josh Adams, the company's head of technology, and Billy Boozer, the head of product development, had resigned their posts following Truth Social's "troubled" launch.[24]

After Elon Musk disclosed his large stake in and intent to buy out Twitter in April 2022, holding company Digital World Acquisition Corp lost 44% of its stock value. Matthew Kennedy, a market strategist at Renaissance Capital, said that the buyout was troubling for Digital World as a Musk-owned Twitter would undercut the rationale behind Truth Social's existence.[25]

On April 22, 2022, the video platform Rumble announced that Truth Social successfully migrated its website and mobile applications to Rumble's cloud infrastructure.[4]

Legal issuesEdit

The New York Times reported days after the TMTG deal was announced that the founder of the Digital World Acquisition Corp. SPAC, Miami banker Patrick Orlando, had been discussing the deal with Trump since at least March 2021. The formation of the SPAC was announced in May and it was taken public in September. The Times reported that by summer 2021 people affiliated with TMTG were telling Wall Street investors that the company was nearing a deal to merge with a SPAC. DWAC was not specifically named, but if it was the SPAC in question this may have skirted securities laws and stock exchange rules, since SPACs are not allowed to have a target company in mind prior to going public. Trump and Orlando had initially discussed a deal through another of Orlando's SPACs that was already publicly-traded, but it was deemed too small for the Trump deal. Some bankers told the Times that because the deal discussions began when the first SPAC was being considered, which would be proper, an argument could be made that discussions did not occur after the SPAC was formed, which would be improper. DWAC stated in three prospectuses that it had not had "any substantive discussions, directly or indirectly, with any business combination target."[26]

DWAC disclosed in a December 2021 regulatory filing that the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority had weeks earlier asked it for information about stock trading and communications with TMTG prior to their deal being announced.[27][28] The company disclosed in June 2022 that the SEC was expanding its inquiry, and days later said a grand jury seated by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York had subpoenaed DWAC and each member of its board, as well as documents.[29][30]

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported in July 2022 that Florida state records showed Trump left as chairman of TMTG less than a month before the company received subpoenas from the SEC and the New York grand jury, concurrent with the DWAC subpoenas. His son Donald Trump, Jr. and former Trump administration official Kash Patel were among others who simultaneously left the TMTG board of directors. Truth Social denied the report. Axios later published records filed by TMTG's agent with the Florida Division of Corporations; an April 28 filing showed Trump and others listed as "director," while a June 8 filing to change "person, title or capacity" directed the Division to "remove" Trump and others.[31][32][33]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Press Release". Trump Media & Technology Group. 20 October 2021. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  2. ^ "T Media Tech LLC". Apple Store. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  3. ^ "TRUMP MEDIA GROUP CORP. :: Delaware (US)". opencorporates.com. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Exhibit 99". Archives. Securities and Exchange Commission. 20 October 2021. Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  5. ^ Nobles, Ryan (6 December 2021). "Devin Nunes says he's leaving Congress by the end of the year". CNN.
  6. ^ "Current Vacancies of the 117th Congress". Clerk, United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 3 January 2022. Resigned January 01, 2022 / Rep. Devin Nunes
  7. ^ Peters, Jay (6 January 2022). "Trump's Truth Social app will apparently launch in February". The Verge. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Trump announces launch of media company, social media site". AP News. 21 October 2021. Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  9. ^ Goldstein, Matthew; Hirsch, Lauren; Enrich, David (29 October 2021). "Trump's $300 Million SPAC Deal May Have Skirted Securities Laws". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  10. ^ Douglas MacMillan; Jonathan O'Connell (23 December 2021). "Trump's newest business partner: A Chinese firm with a history of SEC investigations". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Enrich, David; Goldstein, Matthew; Goldmacher, Shane (21 October 2021). "Trump Takes Advantage of Wall Street Fad to Bankroll New Venture" – via NYTimes.com.
  12. ^ Feng, John (22 October 2021). "How Donald Trump's Truth Social is connected to China". Newsweek. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  13. ^ "Trump's new social media backer tied to China lifestyle venture". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 3 August 2022.
  14. ^ Feng, John (8 December 2021). "Patrick Orlando, bankroller of Donald Trump's Truth Social, Severs China Connections". Newsweek. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  15. ^ a b Wang, Echo; Berens, Michael (10 February 2022). "How a Trump deal got a boost from a China-based financier". Reuters. Retrieved 14 August 2022. The initial investors in the management entity, or sponsor, of Digital World put in a total of $11.8 million, disclosures show. / The Washington Post and Bloomberg News previously reported that ARC has a stake in the sponsor of Digital World. The fact that ARC offered money to get the SPAC off the ground is reported here for the first time.
  16. ^ "Company Overview". www.tmtgcorp.com. Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  17. ^ Asgari, Nikou; Indap, Sujeet (4 December 2021). "Donald Trump's social media start-up raises $1bn". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Former Trump, Nunes Aide Lands Top Legal Job at Rumble Platform". Bloomberg Law. 9 December 2021.
  19. ^ Schnell, Mychael (14 December 2021). "Trump media company inks deal with video platform Rumble". TheHill. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  20. ^ Franck, Thomas. "Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene bought shares of Trump SPAC..." CNBC. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  21. ^ Egan, Matt. "Marjorie Taylor Greene invested as much as $50,000 in the Trump SPAC before its stock plunged". CNN. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  22. ^ Pietsch, Bryan. "Marjorie Taylor Greene buys up to $50,000 worth of Trump SPAC stock during week of wild fluctuation". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  23. ^ Baine, Derek. "Donald Trump's Truth Social Gets Thrown Another Lifeline". Forbes. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  24. ^ "Two key tech execs quit Trump's Truth Social after troubled app launch". CNBC. 4 April 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  25. ^ Egan, Matt (25 April 2022). "Trump SPAC is down 44% since Elon Musk disclosed Twitter stake". CNN. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  26. ^ Goldstein, Matthew; Hirsch, Lauren; Enrich, David (29 October 2021). "Trump's $300 Million SPAC Deal May Have Skirted Securities Laws". The New York Times.
  27. ^ Mangan, Dan (6 December 2021). "Trump SPAC under investigation by federal regulators, including SEC". CNBC.
  28. ^ Egan, Matt (6 December 2021). "Federal regulators are investigating the Trump SPAC deal". CNN.
  29. ^ Morris, Chris (14 June 2022). "SEC expands investigation into Donald Trump's Truth Social". Fortune.
  30. ^ Primack, Dan (27 June 2022). "Subpoenas issued to directors of SPAC taking Trump's social network public". Axios.
  31. ^ Chris Andersen (7 July 2022). "Exclusive: Trump left Sarasota media company weeks before federal subpoenas were issued". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  32. ^ Whitten, Sarah. "Donald Trump left the board of his social media company weeks before federal subpoenas, filing shows". CNBC.
  33. ^ Dan Primack; Sara Fischer (7 July 2022). "Trump's social media company disputes he left its board". Axios.

External linksEdit