The steep correction in tech stocks, in general, and the precipitous collapse of the SPAC market, in particular, has come at the worst possible moment for Donald Trump’s half-cocked efforts to fold his Trump Media and Technology Group into a public company. Last year, of course, he was riding high as Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check company with which TMTG signaled its intent to merge, soared to a meme stockish $100 or so a share, valuing the mostly nonexistent Trump media empire at several billion dollars. Truth Social, which launched earlier this year, was still mostly vaporware, and the president’s investor deck—teasing plans to become a market competitor to CNN, Disney Plus, and Netflix, not to mention “disrupt big tech” and the entire “FAANG monopoly”—was puerile and absurdist and not even quarter-cocked. But investors piled in nonetheless, putting up sufficient funds to give Trump’s post-Twitter, post-presidency art project a fighting chance.
In this brave new world, where Google is down 20-something percent and Netflix is off by 70-ish percent, DWAC has traded lower alongside the rest of the market in recent months, losing about 70 percent of its value since March. More worryingly for Trump and his co-investors, the merger that’s supposed to give his company that giant, necessary cash infusion to fund its growth is still not complete.
It’s not as if the market is writing off the potential value of a right-wing Twitter clone—if anything, it’s an increasingly crowded market, with Gab, Rumble, and GETTR all competing for conservative audiences across social and video. Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire recently announced ambitious plans to create a conservative streaming platform for kids, working on films and television content that befits the thresholds of the culture wars.