Donald Trump’s social media app “Truth Social” in Apple’s App Store on an iPhone.
Christopher Derbach | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the shell company that Trump Media and Technology Group plans to take public, rose sharply after former President Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social was admitted to the Google Play Store on Wednesday.
Shares of DWAC closed up more than 14% at $18.30 on Thursday. Nasdaq paused trading with DWAC for about five minutes Thursday morning during the jump. The stock’s high this year was around $97 in March.
The change means the app is now available on the App Store for the 44% of smartphone users in the US who own an Android device. Android users could previously access the platform through their web browser or by “sideloading” the application through the Truth Social website.
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The app had previously been banned from the Google Play Store for violating Google’s user-generated content moderation policy.
“Apps are allowed to be distributed on Google Play as long as they comply with our guidelines for developers, including the requirement to effectively moderate user-generated content and remove objectionable posts, such as those that incite violence,” a Google spokesman said on Wednesday.
Truth Social agreed to enforce content moderation and to remove and block users who post posts inciting violence, according to Google.
The platform was founded by Trump after he was banned from Twitter in January 2021 “due to the risk of further incitement to violence” after hundreds of his supporters attacked the US Capitol.
DWAC’s shares fell in early October when Elon Musk said he would buy Twitter. The billionaire has previously said he would restore Trump’s account. The former president had over 80 million followers on Twitter, but he only has around 4 million on Truth Social.
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Investors have cited these anemic numbers as one of their reasons for withdrawing funding from the DWAC-Trump Media merger. The company lost $138 million of its $1 billion private investment after a key deadline passed in September.
DWAC is currently pushing to extend the deadline for the merger, which is currently set for December 8th. The company needs 65% of shareholders to approve a one-year extension, but has not received adequate support to date. Without the extension or completion of the merger, DWAC would go into liquidation on December 8th. The shareholder vote has been postponed to November 3rd.
The transaction is also the subject of a Justice Department investigation into possible securities breaches related to undisclosed discussions between the companies prior to the merger announcement. A whistleblower and founder of Trump Media and Technology Group, Wiliam Wilkerson, reported the potential violations to the SEC.
“One way or another, this company is going to go bankrupt,” Wilkerson recently told the Miami Herald. “I don’t think the company will be authorized by the SEC.”
Trump Media said the company is considering legal action against the SEC for delaying the deal.